Dáil Éireann - Volume 465 - 21 May, 1996

Written Answers. - Beef Slaughtering Plants.

272. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the number of food processing plants that closed, are on a reduced working week or have a reduced work force in view of the problems in the beef sector in recent months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10437/96]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): In the first three weeks of the BSE crisis a large number of the licensed beef export slaughtering plants were on a reduced working week with some closed temporarily.

However, since then cattle slaughtering have returned to a more normal pattern and for the last month are running 20 per cent higher than the level reached in the same period last year. The opening of emergency intervention has been important in underpinning the level of slaughtering.