Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Ceisteanna (217, 218, 219)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

217. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of inspections carried out on adult sheep carcasses, that is, those over one year of age, in processing factories in each of the years 2016 to 2018, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1919/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

218. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of inspections carried out on lamb carcasses, that is, those under one year of age, in processing factories in each of the years 2016 to 2018, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1920/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

219. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of instances of non-compliance in relation to carcass trimming regulations detected when adult sheep carcasses over one year of age and lamb carcasses under one year of age were inspected in processing factories in each of the years 2016 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1921/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 219, inclusive, together.

Carcase Classification and carcase presentation (Trim) for Beef, Pigs and Sheep is governed by the following EU legislation: Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council. This legislation applies across the entire EU. Article 10 of this legislation defines the rules for the compulsory classification of Beef and Pigs.

Unlike bovines and pigs there is no EU legislative requirement for processors to classify sheep carcasses.

While the 5 main Irish processors that slaughter sheep also classify carcasses, they do so on an entirely voluntary basis. No machine grading is carried out; where grading is carried out, factory operatives are involved in manual classification. There is therefore no legal basis for any statutory inspections.

My Department gives guidance and training for the voluntary classification of sheep carcasses in the 5 factories. In the years 2016-2018 there were 80 visits conducted in this regard. No differentiation between adult sheep and lambs is made regarding sheep classification at factory level.