Thursday, 17 April 2014

Ceisteanna (207, 208)

Michael McNamara

Ceist:

207. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will indicate the animal welfare justification for the requirement that a ship’s classification certificate must be issued by a classification society which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies; and the way in which this requirement complies with the requirement of EU law to adopt rules in the field of the transport of animals in order to eliminate technical barriers to trade in live animals and to allow market organisations to operate smoothly. [18362/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McNamara

Ceist:

208. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason the current rules in relation to the approval of ships for livestock transport are set higher than those which apply in other EU member states. [18363/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 207 and 208 together.

The transport of live animals is an important feature of Ireland’s economy. National legislation, namely the Disease of Animals (Carriage of Cattle by Sea) Order, 1996 (SI No 17 of 1996), requires that a ship’s classification certificate must be issued by a classification society which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). Certification by a member of IACS provides a higher level of confidence that the certification is reliable.

EU Council Regulation (EC) No. 1/2005 on animal transport provides for stricter rules to be applied by member states than those set down at EU level. My Department has availed of this provision and, therefore, the current Irish legislation relating to the approval of ships for livestock transport sets higher standards than those which apply generally in the EU. I believe this approach is justified for animal welfare reasons and because it reflects the nature of the shipping routes from this island and the importance that we attach both to animal welfare and the continuation of the live export trade to all available markets.