Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ceisteanna (846)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

846. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the approximate number of lambs imported in each of the years 2017 to 2019 and to date in 2020; his views on whether this undermines the sustainability of the Irish market in lamb; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15971/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

As a member of the European Union, Ireland is part of a single EU market that permits trade between member states without tariffs or quantitative limits. The Intra EU movement of animals is recorded on the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES). The data provided below was extracted from the TRACES database and represents sheep of all ages imported into Ireland for all movement purposes.

As the Deputy will appreciate, as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, it is not my role to comment upon commercial decisions taken by private entities in an open market. It should however be noted that, for the sheep sector, Irish average price and slaughter volumes in 2020 to date are above 2019 levels.

Year

Quantity

2020 (to 01/07/2020)

200,123

2019

461,552

2018

521,798

2017

492,776

Data from the 2019 sheep and goat census returns record that a total of 3.81 million sheep were kept in the country at the end December 2019 and approximately 2.8 million sheep were slaughtered in Ireland in 2019.