Dáil Éireann - Volume 541 - 04 October, 2001

Written Answers. - Fallen Animal Collection Scheme.

83. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the procedures which are to be put in place to ensure that knackery yards collect carcases within a specific period of time or which allow the farmer to bury the animal. [21570/01]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): The fallen animal collection scheme was introduced on 1 July 2001. Among the conditions attaching to the scheme is that animals must be collected within 24 hours of notification by the farmer.

Since the introduction of the scheme the collection service has continued to expand to the extent that collection services are now available in all 26 counties. I understand that the services being provided are respecting the requirements for early collection following notification and I also understand that a prompt collection service is now being delivered. Ultimately the success of the scheme relies upon the earliest possible notification of the on-farm death to the collector to ensure that the fallen animal is removed in the [907] best possible condition and with the least possible delay.

One of the main reasons for State subsidisation of the fallen animal collection service is to significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the number of on-farm burials. It creates important environmental benefits and at the same time integrates fully with both national and EU testing requirements for BSE. Consequently it is only in exceptional circumstances and where BSE is not a factor that on-farm burial is authorised and all such occurrences are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.