Dáil Éireann - Volume 567 - 21 May, 2003
Written Answers. - Veterinary Inspectors.
Mr. Naughten Mr. Naughten
175. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the meetings which have taken place in the past six weeks with unions and representatives of TVIs with regard to the reduction in hours at meat plants; the date of such meetings; the agenda at same; when he intends to hold further meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13948/03]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): My Department met Veterinary Ireland, the body that represents temporary veterinary inspectors, TVIs, engaged in the meat inspection service of my Department on 20 December 2002 to discuss TVI shifts in the context of budgetary allocations for 2003. A number of issues were discussed including the need to make the most efficient use of the resources allocated under the Estimate for this purpose, while ensuring that appropriate standards of public health, food safety and animal welfare are met.
No formal meetings have taken place since then with Veterinary Ireland on this subject. However, at local level there is day-to-day contact between veterinary inspectors in charge of meat plants and TVIs in the normal course of their duties to arrange shift rosters in meat plants.
My Department is currently examining all aspects of the meat inspection service with a view to ensuring that it provides an efficient and cost effective service. Proposals that emanate from this examination will be discussed with all interested parties.
Dáil Éireann 567 Written Answers. Veterinary Inspectors.