Category 2 intermediate plants, knackeries, and collection centres are approved and supervised by my Department in accordance with the EU Animal By-Products Regulations (EC) No. 1069 of 2009 and its implementing Regulation (EU) No. 142 of 2011, which lay down the health rules as regards animal by products and derived products not intended for human consumption.
Category 2 intermediate plants, knackeries, and collection centres play a vital role in the agri-sector. They play an important role in combatting illegal burial or the dumping of fallen stock, and are a vital conduit between the herd owner and the Department for traceability of all fallen bovines by their submission of documentation to the animal identification and movement system. They also serve as centres at which my Department can carry out statutory BSE and TSE sampling on cattle and sheep which serves to underpin Ireland's bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, TSE, status and is a necessary part of the surveillance needed to ensure compliance with EU rules.
Official controls are carried out in the knackeries by veterinary personnel of my Department to ensure compliance with the EU and national animal by-product regulations and also compliance with the specific operational conditions laid down for category 2 intermediate plants. The Department carries out, on an ongoing basis, audits and routine and-or unannounced inspections at the category 2 intermediate plants. In addition, Department inspectors take samples from dead cattle and sheep at knackeries for the purpose of disease surveillance under EU Regulation 999/2001.
As part of their conditions of approval, knackery operators are required to keep an up-to-date electronic intake register, completed appropriately, in chronological order. The intake register is audited as part of the inspections. Senior veterinary inspectors at regional veterinary offices and veterinary inspectors working in headquarters carry out verification visits to verify effectiveness of official controls.
The rationale for the animal by-products, ABP, regulations is to create and ensure a one-way flow for ABP material which ensures that such material is dealt with appropriately and prevents the occurrence of cross-contamination with other categories of ABP. Enhanced controls have recently been put in place to ensure that no category 1 ABP material, which is designated under EU Regulation as lower quality ABP, may enter the intake area of the knackery. The stringent official controls in place as required under EU and national regulations, together with the frequency of inspections carried out by officials from my Department, provides a robust system of controls to ensure the highest standard of compliance is maintained.