Dáil Éireann - Volume 462 - 06 March, 1996

Written Answers. - Training of Agricultural Officers.

122. Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the reason the terms of EU Council Directive 91/497/EEC regarding the training of agricultural officer grades has not been applied; the third level institutions, if any, that have been requested to provide training courses for these auxiliaries in accordance with the fresh meat directives; if so, the result of these requests; the third level institutions, if any, that are giving favourable consideration to these requests; when he intends to implement the terms of this directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5187/96]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): My Department is fully committed to implementing this directive. The delay in commencing training for Agricultural Officer grades under Directive 91/497/EEC is due mainly to problems in finding an institution capable of providing the necessary training programme and facilities. At present, consultants Ernst and Young are doing an in-depth study on the meat inspection service. It is proposed to await the consultants report before finalising the training programme under the directive.

The following third level institutions, [1645] University College Dublin, the University of Limerick and its extra mural family, Plassey Management and Technology Centre, have indicated that they are not in a position to provide the required facilities. University College Cork has also been requested to provide training and is considering the request.

I can confirm that the Department will continue with its efforts to ensure that facilities will be provided to train the necessary number of staff in accordance with Directive 91/497/EEC.