Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (484)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

484. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to change the rules to allow a beef animal which is fit for slaughter and from a quality assured farm to be sold in a mart and killed no more than three days later by the new owner to retain its quality assurance bonus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11776/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The standards required for participation in the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) are set out on the Bord Bia website:

https://www.bordbia.ie/industry/farmers/quality/BeefSchemeStandards/Sustainable_Beef_and_Lamb_Assurance_Scheme_Standard.pdf

Requirements for cattle to meet the SBLAS standard include that the animal must have spent the last 70 days (unbroken) in the Quality Assured Chain - this does not preclude movements from one SBLAS farm to another SBLAS farm, including through a mart.

However, I also understand that meat processors make bonus payments in respect of cattle which meet market specifications, determined by them in conjunction with their retail customers. In order to obtain the bonus payment, animals supplied must meet these specifications. One such specification relates to residency.

Such specifications are entirely a commercial matter and are not conditions imposed by my Department.