Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 15 November, 2005
Written Answers. - Veterinary Inspection Service.
Mr. O’Dowd Mr. O’Dowd
157. Mr. O’Dowd asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food, further to Question No. 124 of 4 October 2005, the steps she intends to take on the issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33812/05]
Mr. O’Dowd Mr. O’Dowd
158. Mr. O’Dowd asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food, further to Question No. 162 of 23 June 2005, the steps she intends to take on the issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33813/05]
Mr. M. Higgins Mr. M. Higgins
169. Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food, in regard to her reply to Question No. 124 of 4 October 2005 in which she said that on-farm slaughter of animals in any number is an exception rather than the rule and occurs in only the most exceptional circumstances, the number of occasions in the past ten years, other than during the foot and mouth disease outbreak, where such slaughtering was allowed; the number and type of animals slaughtered in each case; the reason for the slaughter in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34170/05]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 157, 158 and 169 together.
I have outlined in detail to the House on a number of occasions the circumstances surrounding this unusual case. I wish to restate the key aspects. First, the actions by my Department at the time were designed to protect public health by ensuring that animals treated with a prohibited substance did not enter the food chain. Second, my Department obviously wanted to see the animals disposed of in a humane manner and offered to permit the animals to be brought to a slaughter plant. However, the person in charge of the animals chose the manner by which the animals were to be slaughtered and my Department made every effort to ensure that he did this in a way that the welfare of the animals was not compromised. In view of the fact that the matter is sub judice, I do not propose to comment any further on the case.
 With the exception of mink, where slaughter normally occurs on-farm, the on-farm slaughter of animals in any number takes place only in exceptional circumstances, mainly for animal welfare reasons or to prevent the spread of disease. There have been very few cases in recent years where significant numbers of animals were slaughtered on-farm. While my Department does not maintain records at central level in a manner which would enable me to provide the details requested, the best information available to me is that ten flocks of poultry were slaughtered on-farm since 2001 for reasons related to salmonella infection.
Dáil Éireann 610 Written Answers. Veterinary Inspection Service.