Dáil Éireann - Volume 651 - 08 April, 2008
Written Answers. - Animal By-Products.
Deputy Johnny Brady Deputy Johnny Brady
Deputy Johnny Brady asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if it is intended to use meat and bonemeal as a fertiliser on land or on forestry in the future; and the safest means of disposal of this product. [13269/08]
Deputy Mary Coughlan Deputy Mary Coughlan
Deputy Mary Coughlan: The Irish rendering industry produced 151,000 tonnes of meat and bone-meal (MBM) in 2007. The use or disposal of this material is strictly controlled under Regulation (EC) No. 1774 of 2002. The Regulation classifies animal by-products into three risk categories, ranging from Category 1 (high risk) material to Category 3 (which poses little or no risk). The Regulation approves a number of disposal methods for animal by-products, depending on their category.
The bulk of MBM produced in this country continues to be disposed of by way of export for incineration. My policy is to encourage safe alternative uses of MBM in Ireland. A growing proportion is being used as a replacement for fossil fuel in a cement manufacturing plant. Category 3 MBM can also be incorporated in technical products or petfood; and I am aware of proposals to use MBM to fuel power plants and in the production of fertiliser
Commission Regulation 181 of 2006 allowed the application of MBM based fertilisers subject to a grazing restriction of 21 days. The Regulation further permits Member States to introduce stricter national controls. Landspread of organic fertilisers containing Category 3 MBM is permitted in this country under S.I. No. 615 of 2006 subject to a number of controls, including
a requirement that the fertiliser go through a process of technical transformation to render it unpalatable to animals;
a 3-year prohibition on grazing by farmed animals where the fertiliser is applied;
a 12-month prohibition on making silage or hay where the material is applied;
prohibition on access by farmed animals to the fertiliser;
a requirement that the fertiliser must not come into contact with feed;
and the registration of end-users subject to conditions laid down by the Department.
 Ireland has traditionally taken advantage of flexibility to introduce stricter national controls to counter the risk of BSE and other diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease in the context of protecting public and animal health and to safeguard our very important beef export industry.
My Department is currently engaged in a review of regulations in this area with a view to possible relaxation in light of the significantly reduced incidence of BSE.
Dáil Éireann 651 Written Answers. Animal By-Products.