Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (485)

James Browne

Ceist:

485. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the controls, inspections and sanctions for factories on carcase trim, classification and weights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8311/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184 of 20 April 2017 governs the monitoring of carcase classification, carcase presentation and weighing.

Carcase classification and carcase presentation controls in slaughter plants are carried out by a dedicated team of specialist staff in the Beef Carcase Classification Section within my Department. Classification Officers conduct unannounced, on-the-spot inspections in 32 beef slaughtering plants to ensure that Carcase Classification is carried out in accordance with EU Regulations. The number of inspections conducted annually significantly exceeds the legal requirement for the minimum number of inspections set down in EU legislation. In 2018, my Department conducted almost 550 inspections.

Since January 1st, 2019, additional monitoring of carcase presentation by my Department’s veterinary public health inspection staff (VPHIS) in these factories is in place. This will provide further assurance to stakeholders that the appropriate dressing specification is being applied. These staff will provide a supporting role for the Beef Carcase Classification staff.

Regarding sanctions, under legislation (SI 363/2010), non-compliance with the legislation attracts a maximum on the spot fine of €200 per carcase. In addition, any person who commits an offence under these Regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to both.