Covid-19 Tests

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<h3>Questions (329)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_329">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Martin-Browne.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Martin-Browne.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Martin Browne"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Martin-Browne.D.2020-02-08/">Martin Browne</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Martin Browne</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3504" class="">329. <strong>Deputy Martin Browne</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the number of meat processing factories at which serial testing has taken place since its introduction; the frequency with which serial testing is being carried out at individual facilities; if there are any facilities that have not had serial testing carried out; if so, the reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7540/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-329">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_543">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
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<p id="para_3505" class="">The Department of Health and the HSE are the competent authorities in matters relating to public health. My Department continues to contribute to the HSE-chaired National Outbreak Control Team as part of the whole-of-Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is supporting the HSE in the context of local outbreak teams, overseeing a programme of serial testing of workers at larger food plants and other businesses. </p>
<p id="para_3506" class=""> Serial testing (i.e. four weeks of weekly testing) at food production facilities started on 14 September 2020. Five cycles have subsequently been completed and a sixth cycle is currently in progress (commenced on Monday 8th February). A total of 86,541 tests were completed in 88 food production facilities across Cycles 1 - 4, with 526 cases detected. The<strong>
</strong>detection rate in facilities stood at 0.6%<strong>
</strong>across Cycles 1- 4, with Cycle 4 reporting the highest rate at 0.9%. The fifth cycle of serial testing began on Monday, 11th January 2021. At the end of the final week on 5 February, 21,500 swabs were taken and 444 positive cases were detected. </p>
<p id="para_3507" class=""> The Department continues to provide any assistance requested by the HSE to facilitate this testing programme. My Department has also been assisting HSE in evaluating the use of rapid antigen detections tests (RADT) for SARS-CoV-2 as a risk management tool in food businesses. This validation study has been done in tandem with the serial PCR testing organised by HSE - 4,900 people were tested by both RADT and PCR across 18 sites since the beginning of January 2021. While a detailed analysis of this data is currently being completed by HSE, the study would appear to support the use of RADT for this purpose.</p>
<p id="para_3508" class=""> Consequently, my Department is currently making arrangements to facilitate the roll-out of this testing so that any food business operators (FBOs) who wish to use RADT for risk management purposes can do so as soon as possible. This includes guidelines on the use of RADT for this purpose which my Department has agreed with the public health authorities and with the food industry, a process for the supply of RADT test-kits to FBOs and a means of providing some initial on-site training for FBOs who wish to use RADT. </p>
<p id="para_3509" class=""> Furthermore, as of 29th January, officials from my Department have completed 663 inspections on behalf of the HSA, including unannounced inspections, in DAFM-approved food premises, and these inspections are ongoing. This is in addition to the inspections carried out by the HSA itself, and in addition to the 49 premises where DAFM have a permanent presence.</p>
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</div>
</div>

Covid-19 Pandemic

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<h3>Questions (330)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_330">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/James-O'Connor.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/James-O'Connor.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="James O'Connor"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/James-O'Connor.D.2020-02-08/">James O'Connor</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">James O'Connor</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3510" class="">330. <strong>Deputy James O'Connor</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> if he will report on the closure due to Covid-19 and the resumption of point-to-point racing (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7564/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-330">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_544">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
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<p id="para_3511" class="">Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is a commercial state body established under the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act, 2001, and is responsible for the overall administration, promotion and development of the horse racing industry. </p>
<p id="para_3512" class=""> Government has requested that Point to Point racing be discontinued under current regulations relating to COVID-19. HRI has informed this Department that this request is being complied with. <strong>
</strong></p>
<p id="para_3513" class=""> The pre-eminence of the protection of public health in the current pandemic situation is at the fore of such considerations. </p>
<p id="para_3514" class=""> The situation will continue to be actively monitored.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Ministerial Correspondence

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<h3>Questions (331)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_331">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Catherine-Murphy.D.2005-03-11/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Catherine-Murphy.D.2005-03-11/image/thumb" alt="Catherine Murphy"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Catherine-Murphy.D.2005-03-11/">Catherine Murphy</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Catherine Murphy</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3515" class="">331. <strong>Deputy Catherine Murphy</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> if his attention has been drawn to correspondence (details supplied); if he will contact the correspondents; and his plans to deal with the matters raised in the correspondence. [7595/21]</p>
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</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-331">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_545">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/331/speech/545/" data-share-text="Ministerial Correspondence" title="Share speech #545 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3516" class="">I am aware of the issues raised in this and previous correspondence from the persons named. These matters have been fully examined on a number of occasions by officials in my Department. </p>
<p id="para_3517" class=""> All previous investigations have concluded that the issues raised, which were the subject of a Circuit Court adjudication in 2002, are a private matter between the persons named and a third party. I wish to reiterate that my Department was not a party to the court proceedings and has no role in this matter. </p>
<p id="para_3518" class=""> This position has been conveyed to the persons named on numerous occasions in recent years and my Department considers the matter closed.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Biodiversity Strategy

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (332)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_332">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Martin-Browne.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Martin-Browne.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Martin Browne"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Martin-Browne.D.2020-02-08/">Martin Browne</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Martin Browne</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3519" class="">332. <strong>Deputy Martin Browne</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> if he is in possession of any assessment on the impact that the EU farm-to-fork biodiversity strategies will have on production costs for farmers; the impact it will have on their output; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7652/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-332">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_546">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<p id="para_3520" class="">I fully recognise that the Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy are very ambitious and challenging. They do, however, provide a very clear pathway for delivering on the ambitions within the EU Green Deal to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050, and Ireland, just like all other Member States, will be required to contribute to achieving this vision.</p>
<p id="para_3521" class=""> I have consistently called for comprehensive impact assessments to be conducted in respect of all Farm to Fork proposals. At the Council of European Agriculture Ministers in December, I again requested that the Commission conduct thorough assessments that address all aspects of the Farm to Fork proposals. </p>
<p id="para_3522" class=""> The successful delivery of these strategies and the overall ambition of the Green Deal will require, among other things, a strong CAP. I have consistently pursued the need for an adequately funded CAP to support the primary producers to make this transition, to ensure that the risk and costs are not carried by the farmer.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Land Issues

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (333)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_333">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Michael-Healy-Rae.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Michael-Healy-Rae.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Michael Healy-Rae"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Michael-Healy-Rae.D.2011-03-09/">Michael Healy-Rae</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Michael Healy-Rae</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3523" class="">333. <strong>Deputy Michael Healy-Rae</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> if he will address a matter regarding folios (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7706/21]</p>
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</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-333">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_547">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<p id="para_3524" class="">My Department and its legal representatives have continued to prioritise bringing this matter to a conclusion and the preparation of closing documents in relation to the transfer by the Department has been completed.</p>
<p id="para_3525" class=""> The Department's legal representatives forwarded the closing documents to the solicitors for the purchasers last week.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Young Farmers Scheme

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (334)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_334">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Matt-Carthy.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Matt-Carthy.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Matt Carthy"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Matt-Carthy.D.2020-02-08/">Matt Carthy</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Matt Carthy</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3526" class="">334. <strong>Deputy Matt Carthy</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> if the discrepancies affecting the category known as the forgotten farmers, that is, those young farmers who have been denied top-up financial supports due to the fact that they commenced farming before 2015, will be resolved in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7720/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-334">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_548">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/334/speech/548/" data-share-text="Young Farmers Scheme" title="Share speech #548 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3527" class="">The Young Farmers Scheme and the separate and distinct ‘young farmer’ priority category of the National Reserve were introduced under Pillar I of the reformed CAP in 2015 to provide support to young farmers in the initial period following the commencement of their agricultural activities. </p>
<p id="para_3528" class=""> In line with the EU Regulations governing the operation of the Young Farmers Scheme, the payment is limited to a maximum period of five years. Payment is based on the number of payment entitlements activated in the scheme year, subject to a maximum of 50. Since the introduction of the Young Farmers Scheme in 2015 support has been granted to young famers who have commenced their agricultural activities since 2010. There is no provision within the EU Regulations to provide for support to young farmers who commenced their agricultural activity prior to 2010. In line with EU Regulation 2393/2017 (Omnibus Regulation), since 2018 a young farmer who commenced farming from 2014 onwards and who submits his/her first Young Farmers Scheme application within five years of commencement of farming may receive payment under the scheme for the maximum period of five years.</p>
<p id="para_3529" class=""> Separately, from 2015 the ‘young farmer’ priority category of the National Reserve has also provided support to young farmers who have commenced their agricultural activity since 2010. The National Reserve provides an allocation of payment entitlements on eligible ‘naked’ land or increases the value of entitlements below the national average to bring them up to the national average. In 2015 the National Reserve also provided support on a once-off basis to a group of farmers called "Old Young Farmers". This was a category of young farmers who had commenced their agricultural activity in 2008 and 2009 but had suffered the disadvantage of not having had access to Installation Aid available at the time of their initial set up. </p>
<p id="para_3530" class=""> ‘Forgotten Farmer’ is a term used to describe a group of farmers who had set up their agricultural holdings prior to 2008, were still under 40 in 2015 and held low value payment entitlements, but were ineligible as young farmers under the National Reserve. As the purpose of the National Reserve is to provide support to farmers in their early years following the establishment of an agricultural holding, the 'Forgotten Farmer' group did not meet the eligibility requirements. The group sought to be considered under the National Reserve as a group suffering from specific disadvantage. As outlined previously, there is no basis in EU Regulations under which this group can meet the eligibility requirements for the Young Farmers Scheme payment.</p>
<p id="para_3531" class=""> EU Regulations governing the National Reserve provide that the two categories of young farmer and new entrant to farming must receive priority access to the Reserve. Since 2018, under the Omnibus Regulation, Member States may use the proceeds of a linear cut to fund specific disadvantage categories under the National Reserve but only if a linear cut is required to fund the two priority categories of young farmer and new entrant to farming in that particular year. Since 2018, the National Reserve has been funded without the requirement for a linear cut to the value of all payment entitlements and this is also the case for 2021. Decisions in relation to the National Reserve, including the basis of funding the Reserve, are made in consultation with the Direct Payments Advisory Committee which comprises members of the farming organisations and farm advisory services.</p>
<p id="para_3532" class=""> I am fully committed to addressing this issue in a way that is fair to this cohort of farmers under the next CAP as outlined in the Programme for Government.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Beef Exceptional Aid Measure

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (335)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_335">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Denis-Naughten.S.1997-01-28/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Denis-Naughten.S.1997-01-28/image/thumb" alt="Denis Naughten"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Denis-Naughten.S.1997-01-28/">Denis Naughten</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Denis Naughten</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3533" class="">335. <strong>Deputy Denis Naughten</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the steps he is taking to allow flexibility in the implementation of the BEAM 5% nitrogen reduction criteria in view of the response from the European Commission; when the online calculator will go live; if he will ensure that farmers have access to the calculator for at least 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7724/21]</p>
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</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-335">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_549">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/335/speech/549/" data-share-text="Beef Exceptional Aid Measure" title="Share speech #549 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3534" class="">The Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) provided temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland, subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. BEAM was funded by a combination of EU aid and Exchequer support. It was provided to support Irish beef farmers who saw beef prices fall in light of market disturbance. </p>
<p id="para_3535" class=""> One of the conditions under which the €50 million was granted by the European Commission was that there had to be an element of reduction or re-structuring built in to the scheme - Article 1 (3) of EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. In that context, BEAM participants agreed to reduce the production of bovine livestock manure nitrogen on their holding by 5% for the period 1st July 2020 to 30th June 2021 as compared to the period 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019. </p>
<p id="para_3536" class=""> In light of the difficulties some farmers are experiencing in meeting this reduction arising from COVID-19 Government Public Health restrictions, my Department recently sought and received clearance from the European Commission to offer such farmers the opportunity to change the reduction year under BEAM. Farmers will now have the choice of changing the reduction year from the existing period of 1st July 2020 to 30th June 2021 to a new period of 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021. The new reduction period will only apply those farmers who opt to apply for the change. </p>
<p id="para_3537" class=""> My Department continues to assist farmers in managing their commitments under the Scheme. Updated bovine nitrogen data for the first six months of the scheme (up to the end of December 2020) is now available under Exceptional Aid Measures on Agfood.ie. In addition to outlining the amount of bovine nitrates produced for the first six months of the reduction period (1st July 2020 - 31st December 2020), it now also outlines the amount of bovine nitrates still available between now 30 June 2021 if the participant is to meet the 5% reduction target. Letters giving the latest bovine nitrates figures for each holding are issuing shortly and further updates will issue monthly as the data becomes available. </p>
<p id="para_3538" class=""> These initiatives will support farmers in making informed decisions regarding the scheme including whether or not to opt for the later reduction period.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Brexit Issues

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (336, 337)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_336">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/336/question/336/" data-share-text="Brexit Issues" title="Share question #336 by Bernard Durkan">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3539" class="">336. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the extent to which the fishing industry has been affected by Brexit; the actions taken or in hand to address these issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7747/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-336_337">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="question" id="pq_337">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3540" class="">337. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the extent to which families dependent on the fishing industry are being affected by Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7748/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-336_337">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-336_337">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_550">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/336/speech/550/" data-share-text="Brexit Issues" title="Share speech #550 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3541" class="">I propose to take Questions Nos. 336 and 337 together.</p>
<p id="para_3542" class=""> The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement will, unfortunately, have a negative impact on our fishing industry. However, this impact would have been far greater had the Barnier Task Force agreed to UK demands or had we been in a no-deal scenario which would have seen all EU vessels barred from UK waters and subsequent displacement into Ireland's fishing zone. </p>
<p id="para_3543" class=""> I have published a Preliminary Analysis of Transfers of Quota Shares on the gov.ie website which details quota transfers for Ireland across the different stocks. This compares the quota shares allocated to Ireland in 2020 and the corresponding new quota shares for 2021-2016. The Deputy will see from this document that reductions in the Annexes to the Agreement are graduated over the 5.5 year period of reciprocal access, but the largest part of the reduction, 60%, is between 2020 and 2021. The aggregate cost of final quota transfer by Ireland to the UK, which is estimated to be about €43m per annum by 2026, amounts to about a 15% reduction.</p>
<p id="para_3544" class=""> In the context of the Commission Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Brexit Adjustment Reserve, I am exploring a variety of possible measures to support our sector with the impacts of the quota transfers to the UK agreed under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This is likely to include a Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme to support the sector in the short term as the effects of the quota transfers begin to affect fishing opportunities. However, as I announced to the Dáil on 21 January, I propose to set up a Task Force involving seafood industry representatives and representatives of other stakeholders to provide recommendations to me on the appropriate measures that will best support the sector and the local coastal communities with the impacts of the quota cuts. I will be asking the task force to immediately focus on arrangements for the Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme, so that it can be ready to go live as soon as it is needed. I also expect that the Task Force will provide prioritised recommendations on a range of other appropriate measures that will allow our seafood sector and coastal communities to adjust to the impacts of the quota reductions.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Brexit Supports

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (338)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_338">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Share</i>
</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3545" class="">338. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the degree to which his Department can avail of opportunities to assist families dependent on the fishing industry who are being impacted by Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7749/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-338">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-338">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_551">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/338/speech/551/" data-share-text="Brexit Supports" title="Share speech #551 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3546" class="">In the context of both the proposed EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve and of the EU co-funded Seafood Development Programme 2021-27 being prepared by my Department at present under the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, I am exploring a variety of possible measures to support our sector with the impacts of the quota transfers to the UK agreed under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. </p>
<p id="para_3547" class=""> Supports are likely to include a Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme to support the sector in the short term as the effects of the quota transfers begin to affect fishing opportunities. However, as I announced to the Dáil on 21 January, I propose to set up a Task Force involving seafood industry representatives and representatives of other stakeholders to provide recommendations to me on the appropriate measures that will best support the sector and the local coastal communities with the impacts of the quota cuts. I will be asking the task force to immediately focus on arrangements for the Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme, so that it can be ready to go live as soon as it is needed. I also expect that the Task Force will provide prioritised recommendations on a range of other appropriate measures that will allow our seafood sector and coastal communities to adjust to the impacts of the quota reductions. </p>
<p id="para_3548" class=""> In the meantime, my Department's European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme 2014-20 remains in operation and supports are available through a range of schemes operated by Bord Iascaigh Mhara for capital investment, innovation, marketing, professional advisory services and training.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Animal Diseases

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (339)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_339">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3549" class="">339. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the extent to which bovine tuberculosis continues to be eradicated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7750/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-339">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-339">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_552">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/339/speech/552/" data-share-text="Animal Diseases" title="Share speech #552 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3550" class="">Following many successful years of reducing bovine TB levels to the benefit of Irish farmers, there has been a concerning incremental increase in the disease since 2016. This has continued in 2020 with further increases in herd incidence and reactor numbers observed. Herd incidence (on a 12-month rolling basis) has breached 4% for the first time since 2012 and reactor numbers have exceeded 20,000 – the highest number since 2009. These trends highlight the need for urgent action by all stakeholders to manage the risk more effectively across all transmission routes. </p>
<p id="para_3551" class=""> Whilst the immediate trends are disappointing and worrying, good progress has been made over the past decade. During 2009, 5,860 herds were subject to restriction whilst the number in 2019 was 4,060. </p>
<p id="para_3552" class=""> I recently launched a new launched a new Bovine TB Eradication Strategy 2021-2030. The implementation of this strategy is overseen by an established TB Forum group along with being supported by three working groups – a scientific group, implementation group and finance group will ensure that all aspects of the Strategy are addressed. As we are dealing with an infectious disease, the strategy is not set in stone - it is a living document which will be subject to amendment and refinement on an on-going basis. This new TB Strategy is available on www.bovinetb.ie </p>
<p id="para_3553" class=""> At our most recent TB Forum meeting on Thursday 4th February 2021, it was agreed by all stakeholders that extensive consultation within three working groups will develop a shared understanding of how collectively we can reduce TB incidence along with implementing the new TB Eradication Strategy. My Department remains committed to reducing and ultimately eradicating TB in Ireland as demonstrated by the recent sanctioning of an additional 16 officers to assist the TB Programme. Attaining TB-free status remains critical from a farm family profitability and sustainability perspective and from a trade perspective at national and at international level. I am acutely conscious that every TB restriction represents a significant emotional and financial challenge to the farm family concerned. </p>
<p id="para_3554" class=""> It is a deep regret that today over 2,262 herds are currently restricted compared to 2.096 this time last year. I want to work with all stakeholders in ensuring fewer herdowners experience the challenges associated with a TB restriction and that we work purposefully towards eradication of this disease, thus eliminating this on-going cost on farmers and the State.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Animal Diseases

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (340)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_340">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3555" class="">340. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the number of incidents of bovine tuberculosis recorded in each of the past ten years to date; the extent to which the causes of outbreaks have been identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7751/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-340">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-340">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_553">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/340/speech/553/" data-share-text="Animal Diseases" title="Share speech #553 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3556" class="">The table below details the number of herds experiencing a new restriction, due to bovine TB, since 1st January each year, by county over the past 10 years to date and the number of reactors related to these restrictions. While TB disease is low relative to historical levels, the number of new restrictions and reactor numbers have been gradually increasing since 2016. The pace of deterioration has accelerated in 2020.</p>
<p id="para_3557" class=""> The causes for the outbreaks of TB cases across the country within each county are various and require a range of actions to address the problem. Within each county the TB programme focuses on wildlife, how disease is distributed in the area, contiguous programmes, gamma interferon testing, cleansing and disinfection, testing compliance and frequency and isolation of reactors. Each TB outbreak is investigated by a veterinary inspector to identify the source of infection. In the case of every outbreak involving two or more standard reactors, there is a veterinary visit to advise the herdowner on how to eliminate infection and necessary measures to assist in reducing the risk of recurrence.</p>
<p id="para_3558" class=""> My Department is engaged with all stakeholders through the TB Forum to ensure all aspects of recently launched new Bovine TB Eradication Strategy 2021-2030 are addressed to move forward towards eradication of the disease. This new TB Strategy and further information is available on www.bovinetb.ie.</p>
<p id="para_3559" class="">
<a href="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/debates/questions/supportingDocumentation/2021-02-11_pq340-11-02-21_en.docx">Table</a>
</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Animal Welfare

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (341)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_341">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3560" class="">341. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the degree to which breaches of animal health regulations continue to be brought to the attention of his Department; if specific issues for particular action arising from such incidents have been identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7752/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-341">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-341">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_554">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/341/speech/554/" data-share-text="Animal Welfare" title="Share speech #554 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3561" class="">Animal health in Ireland is regulated under both EU legislation and national legislation. The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 obliges anyone who has an animal in his or her possession or control to safeguard its health and welfare. The Act introduced control and enforcement procedures such as Fixed Payment Notices and Animal Health and Welfare Notices. AHW Notices may be issued both as guidance and to deal with potential disease risks and situations in which animal welfare is compromised. The Act also increased penalties, with the possibility of fines up to €5,000 on summary conviction and six months imprisonment. For major cases taken on indictment, the maximum penalty has been raised from €100,000 to €250,000, with a maximum custodial sentence of five years imprisonment. </p>
<p id="para_3562" class=""> Regulations dealing with animal health and related issues are made under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, and the European Communities Act 1972. Officials of my Department carry out compliance checks with the regulations on an on-going basis all across the country. Breaches of or non-compliances with these specific regulations are dealt with by my officials in the Regional Veterinary Offices and the relevant Divisions of my Department.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Veterinary Services

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (342)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_342">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3563" class="">342. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> if his Department has examined the impact of the purchase of veterinary practices by vulture funds; his plans for specific provisions to ensure that adequate veterinary capacity remains available to the agrifood sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7753/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-342">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-342">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_555">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<p id="para_3564" class="">The availability of veterinary services in rural areas is a matter that my Department has been reviewing in the context of the National Farmed Animal Health Strategy. </p>
<p id="para_3565" class=""> From the latest available figures, registered practitioner numbers in Ireland grew from 2,473 in 2015 to 2,907 in 2019 representing an increase of 15%. Over the same period, there has been an increase of more than 35 practices. Also, I understand that in 2020 more than 3,000 veterinary practitioners were in the register of the VCI – an all time high.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Agrifood Sector

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (343)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_343">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3566" class="">343. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the extent to which he has identified the most salient issues affecting the agrifood sector arising from Brexit to date; his plans to address the issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7754/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-343">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-343">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_556">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/343/speech/556/" data-share-text="Agrifood Sector" title="Share speech #556 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3567" class="">Brexit presents very serious challenges for the agri-food and fisheries sectors, despite the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) reached between the EU and the UK. </p>
<p id="para_3568" class=""> While the TCA avoids the worst outcomes of a No Deal Brexit - notably tariffs and the complete exclusion of our fishing vessels from UK waters - there are very significant concerns about the impact of the agreement on the fisheries sector and on fishing communities. </p>
<p id="para_3569" class=""> In addition, since 1st January 2021, the UK has been outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union. This means that new procedures must be followed by businesses moving goods to, from or through the UK, excluding Northern Ireland, as they must comply with customs, sanitary and phytosanitary, and other regulatory requirements. These non-tariff barriers will result in increased costs for businesses, with potential knock-on effects on prices paid to farmers and on farm incomes. These impacts will continue to be closely monitored by my Department. </p>
<p id="para_3570" class=""> My Department’s Brexit preparedness work has included the provision of supports to the sector over multiple budgets. Last week, a first call for applications was announced under the Enterprise Ireland-led €100 million capital investment scheme agreed by Government at the end of 2020 for companies engaged in the processing and marketing of primary meat and dairy products in recognition of the sector’s unique exposure to the impact of Brexit. </p>
<p id="para_3571" class=""> We will continue to monitor the impacts of Brexit on the agri-food and fisheries sectors, and the Government stands ready to support those sectors as they adapt to the new realities created by the UK's departure from the EU.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Beef Industry

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (344)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_344">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3572" class="">344. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the current strength of the national beef herd; the degree to which the numbers have fluctuated in the past ten years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7755/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-344">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-344">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_557">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/344/speech/557/" data-share-text="Beef Industry" title="Share speech #557 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3573" class="">The CSO's Livestock Survey (June) includes the information below for the years 2010-2019:</p>
<table>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3574" class="">(000 head)</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3575" class="">Total cattle</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3576" class="">Dairy cows</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3577" class="">Other cows</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3578" class="">2010</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3579" class="">6,607</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3580" class="">1,071</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3581" class="">1,158</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3582" class="">2011</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3583" class="">6,493</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3584" class="">1,117</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3585" class="">1,123</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3586" class="">2012</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3587" class="">6,754</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3588" class="">1,141</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3589" class="">1,149</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3590" class="">2013</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3591" class="">6,903</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3592" class="">1,163</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3593" class="">1,150</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3594" class="">2014</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3595" class="">6,926</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3596" class="">1,226</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3597" class="">1,129</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3598" class="">2015</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3599" class="">6,964</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3600" class="">1,296</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3601" class="">1,076</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3602" class="">2016</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3603" class="">7,221</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3604" class="">1,398</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3605" class="">1,104</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3606" class="">2017</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3607" class="">7,364</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3608" class="">1,433</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3609" class="">1,081</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3610" class="">2018</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3611" class="">7,349</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3612" class="">1,481</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3613" class="">1,048</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3614" class="">2019</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3615" class="">7,209</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3616" class="">1,505</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3617" class="">1,000</p>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
<p id="para_3618" class=""> Provisional figures for 2020 show that the total cattle numbers increased by 105,800 (+1.5%) to 7,314,400. The number of <em>other cows</em> dropped by 16,500 (-1.6%), while the number of <em>dairy cows</em> was up by 62,900 (+4.2%). Final 2020 data will be published by the CSO later this year.</p>
<p id="para_3619" class=""> More detailed data from the CSO's June and December Livestock Surveys each year is available at the following links: </p>
<p id="para_3620" class=""> https://www.cso.ie/en/statistics/agriculture/cropsandlivestockjunefinalresults</p>
<p id="para_3621" class=""> https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/clsjp/cropsandlivestocksurveyjuneprovisional2020/</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Dairy Sector

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (345)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_345">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3622" class="">345. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the current strength of the dairy herd; the extent to which numbers have fluctuated in the past ten years to date; if he remains satisfied that income from the sector will remain positive for the foreseeable future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7756/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-345">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-345">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_558">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/345/speech/558/" data-share-text="Dairy Sector" title="Share speech #558 by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_3623" class="">Data on the national herd is published twice yearly by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), on the basis of two categories; dairy and other cows. </p>
<p id="para_3624" class=""> The following tables detail the number of dairy cows in Ireland using final data extracted from the CSO June Livestock Surveys for 2019. Figures presented have been rounded to the nearest decimal point.</p>
<p id="para_3625" class=""> CSO Livestock Survey June 2019:</p>
<table>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3626" class=""> Year </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3627" class=""> 2010 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3628" class=""> 2011 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3629" class=""> 2012 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3630" class=""> 2013 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3631" class=""> 2014 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3632" class=""> 2015 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3633" class=""> 2016 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3634" class=""> 2017 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3635" class=""> 2018 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3636" class=""> 2019 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_3637" class="">(000 Head) Dairy Cows*</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3638" class=""> 1,071</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3639" class=""> 1,117</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3640" class=""> 1,141</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3641" class=""> 1,163</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3642" class=""> 1,226</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3643" class="">1,296</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3644" class="">1,398</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3645" class="">1,433</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3646" class="">1,481</p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_3647" class="">1,505</p>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
<p id="para_3648" class=""> *Dairy cows are those kept principally to produce milk for human consumption.</p>
<p id="para_3649" class=""> Provisional figures for the June 2020 Livestock Survey estimate the dairy cow numbers at 1,567.7 (000 Head) representing a 4.2% increase on June 2019 (1504.8). Final datasets from the June 2020 will be published by the CSO later this year.</p>
<p id="para_3650" class=""> The long-term fundamentals of the global dairy market are strong, with increasing demand from developing countries for nutritious and sustainable protein sources. It is expected that global demand for dairy produce will outpace supply in 2021. While significant challenges continue to impact the industry, it has demonstrated ongoing resilience in the face of challenges, including Brexit, COVID-19, price volatility and market turbulence, and to environmental and climate change objectives. I have every confidence that the Irish dairy sector is well-placed to continue to capitalise on the opportunities presented by growing demand for its produce ensuring a sustainable income for all elements in the sector. My Department will continue to work with industry stakeholders to build upon our current achievements and work to to secure new market opportunities and supports to benefit our primary producers and agri-food business.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Brexit Issues

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (346, 349)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_346">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3651" class="">346. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the extent to which markets for Irish-produced beef, lamb and pig meat and poultry remain positive or are threatened in the future arising from Brexit or otherwise; the extent to which his Department studies these issues on an ongoing basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7757/21]</p>
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</div>
</div>
<div class="question" id="pq_349">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/image/thumb" alt="Bernard Durkan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Bernard-Durkan.D.1981-06-30/">Bernard Durkan</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3652" class="">349. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the extent to which Brexit has to date negatively or positively affected Irish food exports, including beef, dairy, pigmeat, poultry and lamb; if specific measures need to be taken arising therefrom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7760/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-346_349">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-346_349">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_559">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Charlie McConalogue"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<p id="para_3653" class="">I propose to take Questions Nos. 346 and 349 together.</p>
<p id="para_3654" class=""> It is too early to gauge the full impact of Brexit on meat and dairy trade since the trade deal struck between the EU and UK in late December 2020, though it is clear that without the deal, the situation would be a lot more challenging. My officials monitor prices and export levels on an ongoing basis to identify any new developments. Prices and production levels for all meat species are collated in the weekly Meat Market Report which is publicly available on my Departments website. My Department also works closely with industry to identify barriers to trade and market access priorities, and with Bord Bia to identify market trends and opportunities worldwide. </p>
<p id="para_3655" class=""> My Department is contributing to the whole of Government effort to support Brexit-impacted businesses, including the recent launch of the €100 million EI scheme for capital investment in the meat and dairy processing sector, which will support industry to invest in product and market diversification. </p>
<p id="para_3656" class=""> My officials will continue to monitor developments as outlined above. Export levels are monitored for all commodities through analysis of CSO statistics. Despite significant challenges in 2020 arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, Irish exports continued to perform well. </p>
<p id="para_3657" class=""> Total dairy exports up to the end of November, according to CSO trade data, totalled €4.653 billion and volume of 1.460 million tonnes. This compares with the same period in 2019 with equivalent dairy exports worth €4.683 billion and 1.494 million tonnes.</p>
<p id="para_3658" class=""> In respect of beef exports in the same period, over 466,717 tonnes of beef were exported at a value of €2.1 Billion. This compares to 479,105 tonnes at a value of €2.1 billion for the same period in 2019</p>
<p id="para_3659" class=""> Sheep meat exports up to the end of November 2020 were 58,275 tonnes valued at €323 million compared to 56,263 tonnes with a value of €287 million for the same period in 2019. </p>
<p id="para_3660" class=""> In the case of pig meat, the CSO reported exports up to the end of November of 251,700 tonnes valued at €808 million. This compares to 255,537 tonnes values at €815 million for the same period in 2019.</p>
<p id="para_3661" class=""> Poultry exports up to the end of November 2020 were 128,040 tonnes valued at almost €226 million. This compares to 130,864 tonnes valued at over €225 million for the same period in 2019. </p>
<p id="para_3662" class=""> Gaining access to new markets and opening new trading opportunities for Irish exports while simultaneously strengthening established export markets has been and remains integral to my Department’s strategic approach to the development of the agri-food sector.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Laboratory Facilities

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (347)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_347">
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3663" class="">347. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the degree to which sufficient laboratory facilities exist or, if not available, can be provided here, with particular reference to ongoing challenges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7758/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Agriculture)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_560">
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
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<p id="para_3664" class="">The facilities at the central laboratory complex in Backweston and at regional laboratories are capable of meeting the vast majority of my Department’s analytical and diagnostic requirements in the animal health, plant health and food safety areas, hosting of over 30 National Reference Laboratories within these disciplines. The laboratory facilities at Backweston are state-of-the-art and include bio-containment laboratories which allow for the safe and secure handling of exotic animal and plant pathogens. </p>
<p id="para_3665" class=""> While my Department Laboratories have the capability to carry out most of the tests in these sectors, for cost efficient reasons, some low volume, highly specialised reference test methods that are periodically required are still outsourced to specialist centres in addition to the availability of numerous private commercial laboratories that provide diagnostic services. </p>
<p id="para_3666" class=""> The existing facilities will be enhanced when the new Category 4 Containment Laboratory comes into operation later this year and the planned restructuring of DAFM laboratories will also see the building of four new regional laboratories to replace the existing ones over the next few years.</p>
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Dairy Sector

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<h3>Questions (348)</h3>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Bernard Durkan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_3667" class="">348. <strong>Deputy Bernard J. Durkan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</strong> the extent to which strong markets remain available for all Irish dairy products notwithstanding the challenges arising from various sources, including Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7759/21]</p>
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Charlie-McConalogue.D.2011-03-09/">Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine</a>
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<p id="para_3668" class="">Despite significant challenges in 2020 arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, Irish dairy exports performed strongly with total export value of €4.653 billion and volume of 1.460 million tonnes for 2020 up to the end of November, according to CSO trade data. This compares with the same period in 2019 with equivalent dairy exports worth €4.683 billion and 1.494 million tonnes with food preparations, butter and cheese emerging as the strongest export product categories. Bord Bia’s <em>Export Performance &amp; Prospects</em>
<em>2020/21</em> report indicates Irish dairy exports for 2020 as a whole are likely to exceed €5 billion for the second consecutive year, with an estimated year-on-year increase of 3%. </p>
<p id="para_3669" class=""> In 2021, global dairy demand growth is expected to exceed supply. Irish dairy produce is well-positioned to benefit from increasing demand, having exported to 148 countries in 2020. While the UK is our strongest trade partner, accounting for 20% of dairy exports by value in 2019, dairy produce benefits from being the most diversified category of Irish food and drink exports, with 49% of all dairy exports destined for markets outside the UK and the EU-26. China and the US are the top third-country export destinations for Irish dairy produce, while the Netherlands and Germany remain our strongest EU trading partners. </p>
<p id="para_3670" class=""> Faced with continuing market challenges into 2021, ongoing focus on market development is a key priority for my Department. I will continue to work with Bord Bia on market promotion events and Trade Missions throughout the year in order to further expand our key international and European markets, driving resilience through market diversification and product innovation, and expanding future growth opportunities for Irish primary producers and exporters.</p>
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