Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 15 November, 2005
Written Answers. - Environmental Pollution.
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
156. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if, given the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding in its IPC licence audit report for a company’s (details supplied) limited operation at Aughinish Island, dated 18 August 2003, that in 2002 this company was unable to account for 76,000 tonnes of caustic soda and given the previous findings of her Department and other State agencies, that there was no evidence of environmental pollution causing ill effects in livestock, she will consider reviewing said findings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34164/05]
Mr. Boyle Mr. Boyle
190. Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if her attention has been drawn to the traumatic effects of animal disease problems on farmers, farm families and farm animals in Askeaton, County Limerick; her views regarding the Environmental Protection Agency, Health Service Executive or others and requested action in the interests of farms in the area. [34232/05]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 156 and 190 together.
From 1995 to 1998 the reported animal disease problems in the Askeaton area were the subject of a comprehensive multi-agency investigation under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA. A number of interim reports detailing the progress of the investigations were published, while the final report of this investigation was published in August 2001. That report concluded that although a small number of farms experienced notable difficulties, there was no evidence of serious or unusual problems in the Askeaton area.
There is no objective evidence available to my Department to suggest that there has been any change in the general animal health situation in the area since the final report was published. On that basis I do not believe that there are grounds which would justify embarking on any further animal health investigation in the area. Where individual problems occur, as they do from time to time on farms throughout the country, the vet erinary laboratory service of my Department is available to support local veterinary practitioners and their clients and this will remain the case. The Limerick regional veterinary office has been authorised to carry out tests free of charge for farmers in the Askeaton area where the farmer’s private veterinary practitioner considers such tests warranted.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Health Service Executive are independent agencies which do not come under the aegis of my Department.
Dáil Éireann 610 Written Answers. Environmental Pollution.