Harbours and Piers

Ceisteanna (485)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

485. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the provision and supply of services at Killybegs pier in County Donegal, namely, stevedoring, crane hire and-or shipping agents at the pier are being procured under contract; if so, if the services are being supplied exclusively by a private firm; if the contract excludes other third party firms from operating at the pier in such a capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11843/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department owns, operates and maintains six designated State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros An Mhíl under statute.

Procurement of the services referred to by the Deputy is an operational matter for the various harbour users in Killybegs and the services in question are procured directly by them from the relevant service providers.

Harbours and Piers

Ceisteanna (486)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

486. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the boundary area under which his Department has and exercises jurisdiction at Killybegs harbour in County Donegal; the lands owned by his Department located in the town; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11844/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre, which is operated and maintained by my Department, was designated as a Fishery Harbour Centre (FHC) under Statutory Instrument No, 210 of 1969.

Its current boundary is defined in Statutory Instrument No. 235 of 1987 which includes a map showing the FHC area, a copy of which is at the link for the Deputy’s information.

SI No.235

Afforestation Programme

Ceisteanna (487)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

487. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of an application (details supplied); when a decision on it will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11863/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

An application for Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme in relation to the contract referenced was received in my Department in December 1998. The application was approved for participation in the scheme and over the duration of the contract, the Afforestation Grant, the Maintenance Grant and all premiums have been paid, with the final (twentieth) premium paid in January 2018. The application is therefore paid in full and the contract is now complete.

My Department is not aware on any ongoing issue with this application that requires a decision.

Animal Welfare

Ceisteanna (488)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

488. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of horses injured and killed at racecourses and point-to-point events here in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019. [11869/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) is the regulatory body for all horseracing in Ireland. The Board is a company limited by guarantee set up by the Turf Club (established 1790) and the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee (established 1866) for the purpose of carrying out the regulatory and licensing functions for Irish horseracing.

The role of the IHRB is provided for under the Irish Horse Racing Act 2016 and subsequent Statutory Instruments. The body is responsible for protecting the integrity and reputation of horseracing in Ireland. This role was previously carried out by the Turf Club and the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee.

The question raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for the IHRB and I have requested my officials to refer the question to them for direct reply.

Animal Welfare

Ceisteanna (489)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

489. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if data on the death and injuries of greyhounds will be provided for the period from January to December 2018. [11870/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The question raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for Bord na gCon and therefore the question has been referred to Bord na gCon for direct reply to the Deputy.

Animal Welfare

Ceisteanna (490)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

490. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an organisation (details supplied) will be representing Ireland at a dog show in China in April 2019; if so, his views on same in view of the fact that China is a country with few or no animal or dog welfare laws or regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11893/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Irish Kennel Club is a private organisation and, therefore, any decisions taken by it are strictly a matter for its members.

However, I understand that the Irish Kennel Club have indicated to my Department that they will not be attending the dog show in question.

Environmental Policy

Ceisteanna (491)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

491. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the actions being taken with respect to the bioeconomy; and the meetings of the interdepartmental group jointly chaired by his Department to implement actions in this area, by date and location, in tabular form. [12039/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Status of the Actions

The bioeconomy provides economic opportunities for farmers, foresters and the agri-food industry to use renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms – to produce food, materials and energy in a sustainable and circular manner. My department contributed to the development of the National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy published on 12 March 2018 by the Department of the Taoiseach.

The high-level Implementation Group, jointly chaired by my Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and consisting of nine departments and eight agencies, established to progress the actions in the Statement, held four meetings in 2018. The minutes of the meetings are publically available on my Department's website. The Implementation Group is currently finalising a report to government on addressing the policy statement actions and will bring forward recommendations for further developing the bioeconomy in Ireland.

Meeting

Date

Location

1st meeting

24th May

Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Kildare Street.

2nd meeting

5th July,

Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Kildare Street.

3rd meeting

19th October

National Bioeconomy Campus, Lisheen Mines, Co. Tipperary

4th meeting

27th November

Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Kildare Street.

Policy Statement actions addressed to date include providing input into a range of national policy and funding instrument developments to exploit synergies and provide funding opportunities for national bioeconomy development. Additionally, the Implementation Group coordinated an Information Day in UCC in May 2018 with partners Marine Institute, InterTrade Ireland and Department of Environment, Agriculture, Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland to highlight funding opportunities available under the EU Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking initiative.

The Implementation Group also coordinated the inaugural Bioeconomy Ireland Day information & networking event in Lisheen, Co. Tipperary in October 2018. Additionally, dairy, horticulture, crop, forestry, marine and organic residues are being examined in Irish and EU funded projects for production of biobased chemicals, food, and feed and energy products.

Afforestation Programme

Ceisteanna (492)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

492. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if data (details supplied) will be provided for each of the years from 2007 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12040/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is not immediately available in the format required, but will be sent to the Deputy separately as soon as possible.

Horse Sport Ireland

Ceisteanna (493)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

493. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he is satisfied with the supports provided to an organisation (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to the importance of the industry to rural Ireland; his views on whether more funding should be provided for dispersal to various persons and organisations that support and underpin this sector of the equine industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12107/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department is fully committed to maximising the potential of the Sport Horse industry and continues to provide support to it both financially and with policy initiatives. I have demonstrated my commitment to the industry by increasing the budget allocated to Horse Sport Ireland from €2.0m in 2017 to €2.5m in 2018 and I have approved a further increase of €500,000 to €3.0m in 2019. This is an increase of 50% on the 2017 allocation.

In 2016 my Department commissioned Indecon International Consultants to undertake a review of Horse Sport Ireland. Indecon found that additional resources will be needed to support the expansion of the sector and reports like the strategy report from The Sport Horse Alliance make this point clearly.

Horse Sport Ireland have been making huge strides in implementing the Indecon recommendations. The proposal to rationalise the board is close to finality with only the Northern representative outstanding. A recruitment process through the Public Appointments Service was undertaken to select a new chairperson and three board members. These members are now in place alongside the four industry representatives.

I remain committed to the sport horse industry and I am confident that this additional Government support will help the sector increase its economic and social contribution into the future.

Animal Welfare

Ceisteanna (494, 495, 496)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

494. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of companies providing dog microchipping services; if the companies provide details of dogs to his Department; and if his Department maintains a central database of all microchipped dogs. [12112/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

495. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an island-wide microchipping database that can be accessed by dog wardens throughout the island of Ireland will be established. [12113/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

496. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if there is a legislative requirement for the seller to re-register dog ownership details when a dog is sold. [12114/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 494 to 496, inclusive, together.

Four companies were authorised to register owner details of dog microchips by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine. They do not provide data to the Department and there is therefore no central database maintained within my Department. However, all of these companies provide details of the chips they hold to Euro Pet Net which is a group of national and local associations based across Europe which register owner information about pets that have been uniquely identified. This directs Dog Wardens or other such persons who have scanned a dog to the appropriate database to identify the dog owner.

While the microchips themselves are of a standard numeric and technological format across Europe, the dog microchipping system in Northern Ireland operates on a quite distinct basis. The UK has approximately thirteen databases operating and does not currently require registration with a centralised clearing house such as Euro Pet Net to identify which database holds a particular dogs information. Some UK databases are part of Euro Pet Net however.

Both buyer and seller are required to update the ownership details with the relevant database.

Brexit Preparations

Ceisteanna (497)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

497. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans for the application of certification post-Brexit (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12139/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Bord Bia operates a series of quality assurance schemes for the food industry, full details on which can be sourced at https://www.bordbia.ie/industry/farmers/quality/pages/qualityassuranceschemes.aspx.

Logos have been developed to promote the QASs to the consumer and can only be used on product by members of Bord Bia QASs. Where a logo is to be used on product, all links in the production of the finished product must be QAS Certified members.

There are currently a number of quality assurance logos that are permitted to be used, depending, primarily on the origin of the produce. A comprehensive document on the Bord Bia Logo Use Policy is available at https://www.bordbia.ie/industry/farmers/quality/Documents/Quality-Assurance-Scheme-Logo-Guidelines2017.pdf.

Any implications arising from Brexit will be considered by Bord Bia in due course.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (498)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

498. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 458 of 19 February 2019, if individual parcels of land in the folio are not required to be separately fenced; if the parcel meets land eligibility 2015 guidelines under traditional farmed hill land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12141/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The rules with regard to eligibility of agricultural land to draw down payment are set out in detail in both the Terms and Conditions document for the Basic Payment/Greening Scheme that is provided to each farmer annually and in the 2015 Guide to Land Eligibility. It is the responsibility of each claimant to assure themselves that their lands meet the relevant conditions to be deemed eligible for payment under the various area-based schemes.

With regard to fencing there is no requirement for individual parcels within the folio to be fenced. However, in the normal course of events external boundaries must be fenced and the fencing must be appropriate to the type of livestock grazing the land. Fencing is not however required for exclusively owned hill lands, provided the lands continue to be farmed in the traditional manner.

For hill land to be deemed eligible an agricultural activity needs to be carried out. In practical terms this requirement is often satisfied via the stocking of appropriate livestock.

In cases where a claimant is in any doubt with regard to the eligibility of lands they can employ the services of an advisor, trained by officials from my Department, under the Farm Advisory System (FAS), to provide advice on specific cases. A full list of FAS advisors is available on the Department's website.

Export Credit Insurance

Ceisteanna (499)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

499. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the export credit insurance scheme in place; and, if there is none, if such a scheme will be put in place. [12153/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

There is no export credit insurance scheme in place and there are currently no plans to develop such a scheme.

I understand that, under the 2017 Action Plan for Jobs, a High Level Group chaired by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) was established to progress the development of an export finance strategy for Ireland. The group's work led to the development of the "Brexit Loan Scheme", which provides low cost finance at favourable terms and conditions to businesses impacted by Brexit.

DBEI has informed my Department that it will work with the Department of Finance to build on the learnings from this Scheme in achieving the availability of appropriate financing supports for exporting Irish businesses.

Animal Diseases

Ceisteanna (500)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

500. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of cases of bovine tuberculosis herd incidents, by county, in 2017 and 2018 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12235/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

At the end of 2018, national herd incidence for TB stood at 3.51% as is shown in the following table, marginally up on the same period last year (comparable figure for 2017 is 3.47%). This means that in 2018, 3.51% of all herds tested for TB have experienced a new breakdown, i.e., they have had at least 1 animal that tested positive for TB.

The tables show by county the number of herds restricted, number of reactor animals and herd incidence in 2017 and 2018.

RVO

Herd Incidence 2018

Herds Restricted in 2018

Reactors in 2018

CARLOW

2.75%

35

105

CAVAN

4.19%

201

893

CLARE

3.77%

225

1,265

CORK North

5.66%

320

2,086

CORK South

2.72%

161

582

DONEGAL

1.70%

87

113

DUBLIN

8.40%

30

169

GALWAY

2.23%

241

838

KERRY

2.62%

172

1,069

KILDARE

3.52%

63

167

KILKENNY

2.92%

88

352

LAOIS

3.60%

100

505

LEITRIM

2.02%

58

185

LIMERICK

1.79%

94

364

LONGFORD

1.97%

46

207

LOUTH

4.88%

56

101

MAYO

2.20%

193

501

MEATH

5.39%

193

754

MONAGHAN

8.91%

371

1,677

OFFALY

3.96%

122

360

ROSCOMMON

2.72%

144

336

SLIGO

3.94%

134

482

TIPP NORTH

4.85%

165

1,296

TIPP SOUTH

2.86%

96

399

WATERFORD

2.78%

59

343

WESTMEATH

4.82%

147

666

WEXFORD

4.33%

129

709

WICKLOW E

9.51%

98

596

WICKLOW W

8.60%

46

371

TOTAL

3.51%

3,874

17,491

RVO

Herd Incidence 2017

Herds Restricted in 2017

Reactors in 2017

CARLOW

3.55%

46

103

CAVAN

5.53%

263

1,408

CLARE

3.37%

204

1,207

CORK North

4.72%

270

1,775

CORK South

4.10%

246

809

DONEGAL

2.00%

104

184

DUBLIN

5.57%

21

86

GALWAY

2.59%

284

975

KERRY

2.70%

180

1,173

KILDARE

3.64%

68

146

KILKENNY

3.24%

99

421

LAOIS

3.28%

93

667

LEITRIM

2.87%

83

309

LIMERICK

2.26%

121

533

LONGFORD

2.21%

52

73

LOUTH

4.01%

46

181

MAYO

2.20%

197

507

MEATH

5.77%

206

654

MONAGHAN

4.94%

207

1,089

OFFALY

3.66%

114

346

ROSCOMMON

2.71%

146

422

SLIGO

3.04%

105

290

TIPP NORTH

4.26%

146

842

TIPP SOUTH

3.27%

111

361

WATERFORD

1.66%

36

149

WESTMEATH

5.72%

175

919

WEXFORD

4.57%

138

907

WICKLOW E

5.97%

63

421

WICKLOW W

11.05%

61

309

TOTAL

3.47%

3,885

17,266

Nitrates Usage

Ceisteanna (501)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

501. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he has taken to monitor the transfer of slurry and farmyard manure from feedlots to areas removed from the site of production; if a ring-fenced system will be put in place, particularly in areas in which the soil type is heavier and prone to more rainfall; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12236/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The amount of nitrogen from livestock manure that can be applied to land is limited to 170 kgs nitrogen per hectare per year by the Nitrates regulations (SI 605 2017). These regulations are the responsibility of the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government and apply to all farms including feedlots, in effect, placing a limit on the amount of manure applied to land.

The transfer of livestock manures (slurry and farm yard manure (FYM)) between holdings is controlled by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and every farmer is required to keep records of these movements. Farmers are obliged to complete records and submit such records annually to the Department. Each year DAFM carries out a 100% administrative check on all farms to ensure compliance with the nitrate regulations limit.

The conditions for the application of manures in order to prevent waters from being polluted by nitrogen and phosphorus are as below:

- Farmers must spread chemical fertilisers, livestock manure and other organic fertilisers, effluents and soiled water as accurately and as evenly as possible;

- Farmers must not use an upward-facing splash plate or sludge irrigator on a tanker or umbilical system for spreading organic fertiliser or soiled water;

- Farmers must not spread organic fertilisers or soiled water from a road or passageway, even if the road or passageway is on your own holding;

- Farmers must not spread chemical fertilisers, livestock manure, soiled water or other organic fertilisers when land is waterlogged, flooded or is likely to flood, is frozen or covered with snow and if heavy rain is forecast within 48 hours;

- Farmers must not spread chemical fertiliser on land within 2 metres of a surface watercourse;

Buffer zones are adhered to for various types of water bodies (i.e. lakes, rivers, wells etc).

Animal Diseases

Ceisteanna (502)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

502. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the role the animal health computer system has in monitoring levels of tuberculosis; if the system is updated on an ongoing basis, particularly in bovine herds identified as high risk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12237/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Animal Health Computer System (AHCS) is a fully integrated online disease management system developed by my Department over many years and is highly regarded internationally by veterinary disease programme managers. It is primarily used for bovine TB management but also has functionality in relation to Brucellosis, BSE, Bluetongue, Avian Influenza, Foot and Mouth Disease, Aujeszky’s Disease and Salmonellosis.

It is integrated with my Department's laboratory information system, spatial system, corporate customer system and the animal traceability system. It contains functionality for regional Department staff as well as staff in bovine slaughterhouses. In addition, it has a user interface for almost every bovine veterinary practitioner in Ireland.

In relation to TB, it is used to list TB tests to vets, accept test results and it allows staff in my Department to interpret TB tests. Veterinary inspectors use it to apply risk to TB breakdowns and to take appropriate follow-up actions in relation to documentation, future testing and the implementation of testing programmes as is deemed epidemiologically appropriate.

It also manages the valuation and permitting of TB reactor animals, the processing of payments to hauliers, vets, valuers and farmers and the forward and backward tracing of disease from infected farms. It has functionality in relation to epidemiological evaluation of herds as well as quality control of the overall TB testing system.

The system is updated daily by Department staff and all herds including those with a high risk status are monitored and managed according to agreed policies. Each regional office has a veterinary inspector on duty dealing with queries as information is fed into the system. This is monitored locally and is also subject to oversight centrally at ERAD Management meetings in relation to operational issues and by the AHCS Management Board in relation to system maintenance and upgrade issues. The AHCS IMT team provides onsite support and maintenance services as well as developing and implementing on-going enhancements.

Animal Disease Controls

Ceisteanna (503)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

503. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the measures he has put in place to confine outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis in areas of high incidence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12238/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Addressing area-based risk is a well-established fundamental aspect of the Tb Eradication Programme. As well as regular diagnostic testing, specific measures are targeted at mitigating disease spread in a local area. This includes initiating a wildlife programme to limit spread from wildlife to cattle. Contiguous testing is also carried out on herds that neighbour a breakdown.

In discrete areas of high incidence of TB, my Department puts in place a range of additional measures and can include a TB control plan to address the issue. These measures include:

- Strict enforcement of official controls and on-going review of current controls in place in the area;

- Increased frequency of skin testing in order to remove infected animals from the population;

- Renewed focus on wildlife activities;

- Enhanced communication with stakeholders so that any changes in policy and DAFM activities are explained to PVPs, farmers and farming representatives;

- Scheduling of gamma tests - Consideration is given to scheduling additional gamma interferon tests with formal notifications being issued to herd owners;

- Enhanced supervision of cleansing and disinfection of herds;

- A sample deer cull is considered if deemed necessary;

- Additional visits to PVPs and herd owners;

- Additional resources are prioritised to deliver the agreed performance targets;

- TB testing quality control.

Laboratory Facilities

Ceisteanna (504)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

504. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of samples submitted to the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory from licensed export slaughter plants operating in counties Roscommon and Galway in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12239/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The number of samples submitted to the Central Veterinary Laboratory from licensed export plants in counties Roscommon & Galway between 1 January 2017 and 28 February 2019 is in the table.

Table: The number of samples submitted to the Central veterinary Laboratory from licensed export plants from Roscommon & Galway from 1st January 2017 to 28th February 2019. There is one export licensed plant in Galway and one in Roscommon. The table represents the cumulative figures for both.

Central Veterinary Research Laboratory

Pesticide laboratory

Notes

Sample Name

NATIONAL RESIDUE SCHEME

2017=238

2018=348

2019=91

Part of the National Residue Plan required under Directive 96/23/EC

LEAD survey samples

2017=25

2018=57

2019=0

Meat samples from animals originating from herds in defined areas of mineral enriched soils

SUSPECT/DETAINED ANTIBIOTICS

2017=94

2018=75

2019=7

Implementation (SI183/2009) of the National Residue Plan required under Directive 96/23/EC.

VTEC ( verotoxigenic e.coli)

2017=48

2018=132

2019=16

Samples for verification of plants own controls to support export to USA.

TB (bovine tuberculosis)

2017=229

2018=165

2019=12

Council Dir 98/46/EC: All cattle slaughtered are examined for lesions of tuberculosis. The official tuberculosis-free status of a herd is suspended where tuberculosis is suspected at post-mortem examination.

Suspect lesions are submitted to the laboratory for confirmatory examination (histopathological and bacteriological).

WATER

2017=2

2018=2

2019=1

Samples sent for verification of own controls in plant (bacterial culture, chlorine concentration and conductivity)

Pesticide monitoring programme

2017=18

2018=19

2019=0

Part of the National Residue Plan required under Directive 96/23/EC.

Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005, establishes EU Maximum Residues Levels (MRLs) for all pesticides in and on fruit and vegetables, cereals and in food of animal origin.

TOTALS

1542

37

Afforestation Programme

Ceisteanna (505)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

505. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an appeal by persons (details supplied) against the decision to withdraw a forestry licence will be heard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12253/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

A decision to grant an afforestation licence under the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme issued to the person named and their registered forester in May 2018. The decision was subsequently appealed to the Forestry Appeals Committee (FAC).

As the FAC is independent of my Department, I cannot enter into any correspondence with them on any appeal. Queries with regard to scheduling appeal hearings should be addressed directly to the FAC.

Pigmeat Sector

Ceisteanna (506)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

506. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans for pig farmers (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12306/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Price volatility is a significant issue for the pig sector and indeed has been for the last 18 months, highlighting the cyclical nature of prices in the sector.

Continuing Brexit uncertainty lends emphasis and urgency to the expansion of international market access, and I have made market diversification a priority. In 2017 I visited Mexico, the fourth largest importer of chilled and frozen pork in the world, to establish market access. Following visits from Mexican authorities, six export plants were recently audited as part of the first stage of gaining access to that market for Irish exporters.

There has also been a substantial expansion in Ireland’s pig meat exports to Asia, with exports to China, Japan and South Korea topping €100m last year. In May 2018, I led a trade mission to China, which included events, in association with Bord Bia, to promote Irish pork and develop export opportunities. I also travelled to Japan and South Korea in 2017 to expand opportunities for Irish exporters in these markets.

Exports to Japan increased by 36% to €30m last year and exports to South Korea increased by 29% to reach €11m. Additionally, I led the first ever Irish agri-food trade mission to Malaysia last November, where a veterinary health certificate for pigmeat was agreed, a vital milestone in the process of gaining market access. I will continue to work closely with the sector and, by focusing on insight-led growth strategies, capitalise upon opportunities for Irish pig meat exporters on international markets.

As regards support for primary producers, TAMS II measures (under the 2014-2020 RDP plan) provide grants for capital investment in physical assets to assist pig producers to develop their businesses. In 2016, I established a Pig Implementation Strategy Group to oversee implementation of the report of the Pig Industry Stakeholder Group. This group plays a vital facilitating role in achieving the objectives for the industry as laid out in Food Wise 2025.

The possibility of a disorderly Brexit poses a threat to the entire agri-food sector, including the pigmeat sector. I have stressed in discussions with Commissioner Hogan that there will be a need to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on the sector, including via traditional market supports and exceptional aid under the CAP's Single Common Market Organisation regulation, and increased flexibility under State Aid regulations. Commissioner Hogan has reiterated the EU’s willingness to respond and support Ireland, and we will remain in contact on these issues as a clearer picture emerges.

GLAS Issues

Ceisteanna (507)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

507. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the case of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12308/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named was approved into GLAS 1 with a contract commencement date of 1 October 2015 and is fully up to date with his GLAS payments.

Actions undertaken for GLAS whether on owned, leased or rented land must be delivered for the entire period of the contract. GLAS is an EU part-funded scheme and must be administered under the relevant EU regulations and the terms and conditions of the scheme which must be complied with in full.

The Department has already been in contact with the participant's Advisor in relation to this issue.