Dáil Éireann - Volume 536 - 16 May, 2001
Written Answers - Foot and Mouth Disease.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
 152. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if he will make a statement on the effects of the foot and mouth precautions on sheep flocks which normally graze on the Curragh; and the measures that have been or are being taken to relieve the hardship occasioned by the precautions. [14292/01]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): It was necessary in the context of the overall management of the foot and mouth disease situation that sheep grazing on the Curragh be moved at an early stage of the crisis. With a few exceptions, the co-operation of the flock owners was readily forthcoming. Those who had initially resisted the Department's request, made in the overall national interest of ensuring that everything possible was done to minimise the risk of the spread of foot and mouth disease, eventually took the responsible course of action.
On the advice of the expert advisory group which has reviewed our foot and mouth disease controls on an ongoing basis, measures were put in place some time ago to facilitate the movement under permit of susceptible animals on welfare grounds. These arrangements, which entail a veterinary inspection, apply nationally. If any flockowner is experiencing welfare problems, it is open to him or her to make an application for the relevant permit.
The point has not yet been reached where I consider it appropriate to allow normal movement of sheep to resume. I will keep this matter under review on the basis of advice from the expert group and taking account of prevailing circumstances.
Dáil Éireann 536 Written Answers Foot and Mouth Disease.