Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Joe Sherlock

Ceist:

57 Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if his attention has been drawn to the recent discovery of BSE in Canada; if this has a potential impact on imports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19025/03]

I am aware that Canada announced its first case of BSE on 20 May 2003.

Under EU harmonised rules, imports into the European Union from third countries must be sourced from premises and countries which are approved by the European Commission and which are subject to veterinary audits by the EU's Food and Veterinary Office. In addition, such imports are subject to checks on import laid down in harmonised rules prescribed at European level, and must be accompanied by veterinary health certification from the authorities in the country of export. According to the current EU rules in place, specified risk materials are removed from meat imported from Canada so no additional safeguard measures are needed at present.

The Central Statistics Office is responsible for the collection of statistics in relation to imports of meat and meat preparations. Data supplied by that office show that Ireland has not imported beef from Canada in recent years.