Dáil Éireann - Volume 548 - 14 February, 2002
Written Answers. - Animal Feedstuffs.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
119. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the locations from which pet foods are imported into this country; if adequate precautions are taken to ensure against the risk to animal health and the disease status of the national herd; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5230/02]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): A range of petfood products of various categories such as tinned, semi-moist, dried and untanned edible products that is, dog chews are imported from other member states and third countries. All such products  traded within the European Union and imported from third countries are subject to horizontal health rules which apply to all member states and exporting third countries.
Products imported directly from third countries and from other member states are monitored on a regular basis. The controls operated by my Department are based on EU harmonised rules governing the veterinary and zootechnical checks applicable to intra community and third country trade in live animals and animal products. These rules require a range of checks to be carried out and also provide for the imposition of restrictions on, or indeed the banning of, trade in particular animal products when this is considered necessary for the protection of public and animal health.
The standing veterinary committee of the European Commission constantly monitors events in member states and third countries which are likely to have implications for public and animal health.
The framework of veterinary checks provided for by harmonised EU rules, the implementation of those rules by my Department and the veterinary services of other member states, together with the constant programme of monitoring and review of public and animal health risks provided for under the aegis of the standing veterinary committee, are intended to provide assurance that imported animal products do not pose a threat to human or animal health, while allowing member states to fulfil their trade obligations as members of the European Union and the World Trade Organisation.
Dáil Éireann 548 Written Answers. Animal Feedstuffs.