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9. Animal Health and Welfare - Part 2

ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS

Animal By-Products (ABP) are entire bodies or parts of animals or products of animal origin not intended for human consumption. The disposal of ABP is highly regulated in order to protect both human and animal health. The main legal requirements are set out in Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002.

Under this Regulation approval must be sought from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for most operations dealing with ABP. These activities include operating;

  • Rendering plants;
  • Compost plants;
  • Biogas plants;
  • Knackeries;
  • Pet food plants;
  • Wool and hide stores;
  • Technical plants;
  • Meat and bonemeal stores;
  • Collection Centres;
  • Transporting ABP;
  • Feeding meat from fallen animals to hounds or fur animals.

Further details and application forms for approval under the ABP regulations can be obtained from Milk and Meat Hygiene/ABP Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Pavilion B, Grattan Business Centre, Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Tel: 057 8694343/057 8694346 , Fax: 057 8694391. The Section's web-pages can be found at www.agriculture.gov.ie

VETERINARY MEDICINES AND RESIDUES CONTROLS

General

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food oversees and implements a number of controls in relation to veterinary medicines and residues, in order to safeguard public health and also animal health and welfare. Following is the relevant national legislation:

  • The European Communities (Animal Remedies) (No 2) Regulations 2007 (SI 786/2007)
  • The European Communities (Control of Animal Remedies and their Residues) Regulations 2009 (SI 183/2009);
  • The European Communities (Animal Remedies and Medicated Feedingstuffs) Regulations 1994 (SI 176/1994);
  • Diseases of Animals Act 1966 (Control on Animal and Poultry Vaccines) Order 2002 (SI 528/2002).

Licensing of Veterinary Medicines
Only veterinary medicines (i.e. animal remedies, including vaccines) which have been licensed for the Irish market may be imported, sold or used on animals; this requirement applies both to 'food-producing' animals and pets or leisure animals. Licenses valid for the Irish market may be issued by:

  • The Irish Medicines Board - the bulk of veterinary medicines authorised for the Irish market have been licensed by the Board -for further information on IMB's services, see (www.IMB.ie) or phone (01) 6764971);
  • The European Commission/European Medicines Agency - such licenses are valid in all EU States; for further information, see www.ema.europa.eu;
  • The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food - the Department is enabled by EU legislation to issue exceptional licenses in limited circumstances, in particular to address specific health or suffering problems in animals.

In addition, in order to protect the national herd from certain diseases, the import and use of certain vaccines is subject to specific licensing.

Commercial Distribution of Veterinary Medicines
Commercial distribution of veterinary medicines is limited to licensed outlets (i.e. licensed wholesalers and retailers - 'Licensed Merchants'), as well as veterinary practices supplying their own clients and pharmacies approved by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. In addition, certain medicines for pet animals may be sold by registered outlets ('Companion Animal Medicine' sellers). The category of medicine each outlet may supply is determined by the restriction placed on the product at time of licensing ('route of supply'); such designated routes of supply appear on the product packaging. Veterinary medicines may only be sourced from authorised outlets.

For further information on premises licensing, please contact: 01- 5058662 or 01-5058665 (Wholesale) or 5058666, 5058668 or 5058669 (retail) For further information on the issue of Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food exceptional licences and the importation of certain vaccines , please contact 01-5058662

For information on Mail Order, Solicit Order and Internet Licences, which are applicable to holders of a Retail/Merchant's licence, please contact 01 5058669
Further general information, including 'Frequently Asked Questions' is also available at
http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/veterinarymedicinesresidues/
informationforfarmersaboutanimalremedies/

Medicated Feedingstuffs
Manufacture, distribution and sale of medicated feedingstuffs and intermediate products is subject to licensing by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under the European Communities (Animal Remedies and Medicated Feedingstuffs) Regulations, 1994. The use of medicated feedingstuffs is prohibited except under and in accordance with the terms of a veterinary written direction issued by a registered veterinary practitioner. Medicated pre-mixes must be authorised by the Irish Medicines Board or the European Commission, European Medicines Agency

For further information, please contact 01-5058662 or 01-5058665

Residues
In order to verify that farmers and processors (i.e. 'Food Business Operators') comply with their obligations under EU Food Law and the Hygiene Legislation to protect consumers from residues, the Department implements a comprehensive National Residue Plan. Under the Plan, samples are tested for residues of banned products (such as growth promoting hormones) licensed medicines (these usually arise where animals enter the food chain before expiry of the prescribed withdrawal period for the medicine concerned), or environmental contaminants. The Residue Plan covers eleven food-producing species (including aquaculture). During 2009, in excess of 24,000 samples were taken and tested at officially approved laboratories for 18 residue groupings. All positive results are followed up by an investigation on the farm of origin with a view to taking the necessary enforcement measures which can include prosecution in the Courts (see penalties below).

Official testing is complemented by a statutorily based regime under which primary processors are obliged to implement residue-monitoring measures. This regime, which involves annual submission to the Department for approval of individual residue plans, makes it mandatory for processors to subject suppliers, whose animals or animal products test positive, to significantly intensified monitoring. This regime of self-monitoring is subject to Department scrutiny.

For further information, please contact Veterinary Medicines Section, 01-5058659 or http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/veterinarymedicinesresidues/

Reminder for Farmers
Farmers are reminded only to use authorised medicines and to use them only as specified on the product labelling. Farmers are also reminded of the need to comply with the post-treatment withdrawal periods specified on the product labelling and to keep the "Animal Remedies Record" of all animal remedies coming on to the farm for administration to food producing animals. The form of record is set out below:

Purchase/incoming details     
Quantity Authorised name of animal remedy  Date of receipt  Name and address of Supplier

 

Administration/Outgoing details        
Date of Administration   Authorised name andquantity of animal remedy administered  Identity of animal to which animal remedy administered including Ear Tag No. if appropriate   Date of expiry of a withdrawal period   Name of person who administered theAnimal Remedy   Name of prescribing Veterinary Practitioner(if applicable) Quantities of unused or expired animal remedies which were returned 

The format of the Animal Remedies Record may be downloaded from:
http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/veterinarymedicinesresidues/

Penalties
Severe penalties may be imposed by the Courts for breaches of the legislation imposed for the sale, possession and use of unauthorised animal remedies; a person found guilty of an offence may be prohibited from keeping animals or animal remedies. Penalties range from a maximum fine of €5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment for a person convicted on summary prosecution to a maximum of €500,000 fine and/or 3 years imprisonment for a conviction on indictment. In addition to judicial action, farmers who breach the legislation are liable to have penalties applied to their Single Farm Payment under EU Cross-compliance rules.

APPROVAL AND REGISTRATION OF DEALERS

Under the European Communities (Approval and Registration of Dealers of Bovine Animals and Swine) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 151 of 2007) and the European Communities (Approval and Registration of Dealers of Ovine Animals) Regulations 2008 (S.I.100 of 2008) all dealers engaged in the buying and selling of animals must be registered.

In the case of cattle and pigs a dealer is defined as a person who purchases and sells to another person within a period of 30 days. A person who buys and resells within 30 days less than 100 cattle in any 12 month period will be excluded from the requirements to be approved as a dealer.

In the case of sheep a dealer is defined as a person who purchases and sells to another person within a period of 29 days. A person who buys and resells within 29 days less than 100 sheep in any 12 month period will similarly be considered to be excluded from the requirements to be approved as a dealer.  

All dealers engaged must be approved and registered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. It is not permitted for a person to buy/acquire/source an animal from or sell/supply/dispose of an animal to a dealer unless the dealer is approved, registered and in possession of a current approval number under the aforementioned legislation. In addition if a dealer is assembling/holding animals, he/she must have premises, which has been approved for that specific purpose.

However, the following exemptions apply:

  • A person who resides outside the State, who buys animals in the State on his or her own account;
  • A person, who selects or bids for animals (on a commission or per head basis) exclusively on behalf of others (e.g. dealers, factories, or private individuals) but who does not buy and pay for the animals, is excluded from the definition of a dealer and therefore is not required to be approved as a dealer.

The legislation requires those who register as dealers and to comply with arrangements relating to the welfare and transport of animals, standards and the upkeep of premises, keeping of records and compliance with animal notification and disease testing procedures.

Each dealer must make a written application for approval and registration as a dealer in respect of each premises used for his/her dealing operations. The written application(s) shall be made to the local District Veterinary Office (DVO) of the Department in which the premises are situated. (See list of DVOs at appendix 1B). If the application is for approval as dealer without premises, the written application should be made to the DVO in the County where the dealer is resident or carries out most of the dealing operations. Two passport photographs of the dealer signed and stamped by the local Garda or Peace Commissioner must accompany each application.

REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE SALE OF ANIMALS AT LIVESTOCK MARTS

The Livestock Marts Act, 1967 (Date of Test and Identification of Seller) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 188 of 2002) came into effect on 1 July 2002. This legislation requires all livestock marts to place on view by means of an electronic display unit the following information, when the sale of an animal takes place at a mart:

  • The name and full address of the owner and the person in whose name the herd or flock from which the animal is being offered for sale is registered;
  • Where the animals has been tested for either or both bovine Tuberculosis and bovine Brucellosis under the Diseases of Animals Act, 1966 (No. 6 of 1966);
  • Where an animal is presented for sale by or on behalf of a dealer, a statement to that fact.

This information must be clearly legible to each person present at or in the immediate vicinity of the sales ring where an animal is being offered for sale. In circumstances where sheep are being sold direct from pens the Regulations require that the relevant details be publicly announced before the sale.

The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that there is greater transparency in the operations of livestock marts and that clients are provided with a uniform quality of service.

REGULATIONS GOVERNING ASSEMBLY CENTRES

The European Communities (Assembly Centres) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 257 of 2000) implements Council Directive 97/12/EC of 17 March 1997. An assembly centre is a holding, collection centre or market at which animals from different holdings are grouped together to form consignments of animals intended for export to other Member States of the European Union. Assembly Centres must be approved for trading purposes and meet the requirements laid down in the aforementioned legislation. An assembly centre may only commence operations once it has been inspected and approved by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

The species, class and type of animals approved to be handled by an assembly centre may be limited to certain terms or conditions deemed appropriate by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Where the Minister approves an assembly centre an approval number will be allocated with any terms or conditions attaching.

IMPORT/EXPORT CONTROLS

IMPORT AND EXPORT OF LIVE FARM ANIMALS

There is free movement of live farm animals between EU Member States in accordance with EU trade regulations. Live farm animals are subject to veterinary inspection and health certification at their place of origin in the exporting country and to checks at their place of destination in the importing country. This freedom of movement of animals poses extra risks for Ireland's animal health status and calls for greater vigilance by importers and farmers to ensure that costly animal diseases are not imported. In several sectors, voluntary codes of practice are in place, which set out additional measures of protection as far as imports are concerned. On the export side, farm animals going to EU destinations, including Northern Ireland, must be examined by an official veterinarian in an approved assembly centre prior to export in order to facilitate the issue of the necessary health certificates.

EU veterinary legislation imposes a wide range of requirements with which farmers have to comply. Animals have to be identified in a manner that enables their holding of origin to be traced. In several cases, farmers have to maintain records of animals kept and details of all movements of stock into and out of their holdings. All farms must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and they will be subject to official veterinary checks on their health status.

More stringent rules apply to the import/export of live farm animals from non-EU Member States.

For further information on importing/exporting live farm animals to/from Ireland please contact your local District Veterinary Office.

IMPORT OF POULTRY AND HATCHING EGGS

Imports of poultry and hatching eggs from EU Member States are permitted under EU trade rules. An import licence issued by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food must accompany the poultry/ eggs along with an appropriate health certificate which complies with one of the model health certificates in Council Directive 2009/158/EEC and which is endorsed by an Official Veterinarian, duly authorised by the Competent Authority in the Member State of export.

Imports of poultry and hatching eggs from non-EU Member States is only permitted from those regions/countries listed in Commission Regulation 798/2008 as amended by Commission Regulation 215/2010. The poultry/eggs must be accompanied by an import licence issued by the Department and the appropriate health certificate, which complies with one of the model health certificates in Commission Regulation 215/2010. Upon first entry to the EU the poultry/eggs must be checked at an EU Border Inspection Post approved for the inspection of live animals (See BIPS below). A number of post-import conditions will apply.

IMPORT OF HOBBY BIRDS (birds other than poultry and pet birds)

Import of hobby birds from EU Member States is by way of General Authorisation (i.e. no licence required). However there are certain conditions attached. Importers must give the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food advance notification of the intended import. The birds must be accompanied by an owner¿s declaration and in the case of psittacine species an appropriate health certificate signed by an official veterinarian of the country of export or by a registered veterinary practitioner in accordance with Council Directive 92/65/EEC and based on the model in Commission Regulation 599/2004/EC. The birds must come from a premises approved in accordance with Council Directive 92/65/EEC

Import of hobby birds from non-EU Member States is only permitted from those regions/countries listed in Commission Regulation 798/2008 as amended by Commission Regulation 215/2010. The birds must be accompanied by an import licence issued by the Department and the appropriate health certificate in accordance with Commission Regulation 318/2007 as amended by Commission Regulation 239/2010. The birds must undergo a specified quarantine period and upon first entry to the EU the birds must be checked at an EU Border Inspection Post approved for the inspection of live animals. There are no BIP or quarantine facilities in Ireland so this will have to be undertaken in another Member State.

IMPORT/EXPORT OF HORSES

IMPORT/EXPORT TO/FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND FRANCE

Registered horses and horses for breeding or production travelling between Ireland, France and the United Kingdom may do so accompanied by a passport only. No intervention is required by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

IMPORT/EXPORT TO/FROM EU MEMBER STATES

Horses must be accompanied by their passport and an Intra Community Health Certificate, which has been signed by an Official Veterinarian of the country of export and which complies with Council Directive 90/426/EEC as amended. Applications made to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for an official health certificate must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the exporter's private veterinary practitioner and a copy of the passport and marking sheet from the passport. Horses will be required to undergo a veterinary inspection by an Official Veterinarian at the port/airport of departure.

IMPORT FROM NON-EU MEMBER STATES

Prospective importers must apply to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for an import licence (except USA and Canada). Horses must be accompanied by their passport and a health certificate which complies with the provisions of Commission Decision 93/197/EEC as amended. Upon first entry to the EU the horses will be required to undergo border inspection checks. Importers are required to give 24 hours advance notice to the Border Inspection Post of choice.

EXPORT TO NON-EU MEMBER STATES

Horse exports to non-EU Member States must be accompanied by their passport, an export licence (except USA and Canada) and an official health certificate, both issued by this Department and which complies with the conditions set out by the accepting country. Applications made to this Department for an official health certificate must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the exporter's private veterinary practitioner along with a copy of the passport and the marking sheet from the passport. Horses will be required to undergo a veterinary inspection by an Official Veterinarian at the port/airport of departure.

BORDER INSPECTION POSTS (BIPS)

From 3 August 2009, all consignment of live animals requiring BIP checks can no longer be imported directly into Ireland from a country outside the EU, but will have to undergo border inspection checks at a Border Inspection Post approved for this category of animal in another EU Member State e.g. Frankfurt, London.

This does not apply to horses (which may be checked at Dublin or Shannon airports), ungulates* (which may be checked at Shannon) or pets. Pets do not require BIP checks but are subject to other rules e.g. PETS scheme or quarantine.

(*cloven hoofed animals, for example, cattle sheep, pigs, deer etc.)

All enquiries in relation to the import of live farm animals, including poultry and horses, should be directed to Live Trade Section, Animal Health and Welfare Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 6072862

IMPORT OF NON-COMMERCIAL ANIMALS

CATS AND DOGS - EU PET PASSPORT SYSTEM

From 3 July 2004, a new harmonised system covering the non-commercial movement of pet dogs and cats was agreed for all of the European Union. Under this new system it is possible, subject to certain conditions, to bring pet dogs and cats directly into Ireland from a range of qualifying countries (qualifying countries include all EU Member States, other European countries and territories, and certain Third Countries) deemed low risk for rabies.

Pet dogs and cats may travel directly into Ireland provided that:

  • The animal is travelling from a qualifying country;
  • The animal is identified by means of a microchip;
  • The animal has been vaccinated against rabies;
  • The animal has, at least six months before entry, been successfully blood-tested for rabies anti-bodies;
  • The animal has been correctly treated against ticks and tapeworm.

Evidence that an animal complies with the last four conditions above will be contained in a Passport, a document standardised throughout the EU.

In addition to the requirements set out above, it will also be necessary to travel on an approved carrier and on an approved route to an approved entry point.

In the absence of approved airlines from eligible countries the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has put in place an interim measure to facilitate the direct entry by air of pet cats and dogs into Ireland. Details of the Prior Approval System are available at http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets

The common travel area between Ireland and the UK continues to operate.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR PET CATS AND DOGS ORIGINATING IN NON-QUALIFYING COUNTRIES

Pet cats and dogs originating in countries other than qualifying countries will continue to be subject to six months quarantine on entry into Ireland.

All enquiries in relation to the import of pet cats and dogs should be directed to Special Projects Unit, Animal Health and Welfare Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 607 2827. Details are also available at www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets

IMPORT CONDITIONS FOR SMALL PET MAMMALS

United Kingdom
There is no intervention required from this Department for the import of small pet mammals from the UK (i.e. no licence or health certification required).

Member States of the EU
Small pet mammals may be imported into Ireland on foot of an import licence issued by this Department. However, the status of the country of export, particularly in regard to rabies will be taken into account before a licence can be issued. The pet(s) must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by registered private veterinary practitioner, certified within 5 days of departure stating that at the time of inspection the pet was free of all clinical signs of a contagious or infectious disease and is fit to travel. They must also be accompanied by a declaration signed by the owner stating that the animals have been born in captivity and have been kept in captivity since birth.

Non-Member States of the EU
The import of small pet mammals from countries outside the EU may be permitted under licence. In addition to the requirements set out above such animals will be required to undergo six months quarantine at an officially approved premises.

IMPORT OF PET BIRDS

Pet birds are birds travelling with their owners on change of residence or for vacation purposes. It only applies to 5 birds or less.

Import of pet birds from EU Member States is by way of General Authorisation (i.e. no licence required). Importers must give the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food advance notification of the intended import. The birds must be accompanied by an owner¿s declaration.

Import of pet birds from non-EU Member States is only permitted from an OIE listed country. The birds must be accompanied by an import licence issued by the Department and a health certificate, which complies with the model health certificate in Commission Decision 2007/25/EC.

Prospective importers must contact the Department of the Environment, National Parks and Wildlife Division with regard to any CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) certificates which may be required. Phone: 01 8883240.

IMPORT OF PIGEONS

Breeding Pigeons
Import of breeding pigeons from EU Member States is by way of General Authorisation (i.e. no licence required). However there are certain conditions attached. Importers must give the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food advance notification of the intended import. The birds must be accompanied by the appropriate health certificate in accordance with Council Directive 2009/158/EC and a veterinary certificate stating that the birds have been vaccinated against Paramyxovirus 1.

Import of breeding pigeons from non-EU Member States is only permitted from those regions/countries listed in Commission Regulation 798/2008 as amended by Commission Regulation 215/2010. The birds must be accompanied by an import licence issued by the Department and the appropriate health certificate, in accordance with Commission Regulation 798/2008 as amended by Commission Regulation 215/2010. The birds must be inspected at a Border Inspection Post approved for the import of live animals. There are no such facilities in Ireland (See BIPS above).

Racing Pigeons
Import of racing pigeons from EU Member States is by way of General Authorisation. Importers must give the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food advance notification of the intended import. The birds must be accompanied by an owner's declaration and a veterinary certificate stating that the birds have been vaccinated against Paramyxovirus 1.

Import of racing pigeons from non-EU Member States is only permitted from those regions/countries listed in Commission Regulation 798/2008 as amended by Commission Regulation 215/2010. The birds must be accompanied by an import licence issued by the Department and the appropriate health certificate in accordance with Commission Regulation 318/2007 as amended by Commission Regulation 239/2010. The birds must undergo a specified quarantine period and upon first entry to the EU the birds must be checked at an EU Border Inspection Post approved for the inspection of live animals. There are no BIP or quarantine facilities in Ireland so this will have to be undertaken in another Member State (See BIPS above).

Pigeons imported from Northern Ireland for race release will require an import licence issued by this Department. Pigeons exported from Ireland to another EU Member State for race release will require an export licence issues by this Department.

All enquiries in relation to such imports should be directed to Live Trade Section, Animal Health Division, Floor 3 Centre, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. Tel: 01 6072862.

IMPORTATION OF PRODUCTS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN

Products of animal origin fall into two main categories - those intended for human consumption and those defined as animal by-products*. Inter-community trade and import from Third Countries of both these categories of products of animal origin are harmonised in accordance with Community Regulations to ensure the protection of animal and human health.

The following are the principal conditions applying to trade and imports:

Human Consumption:

  • For trade within the EU products must originate from approved premises in the Member States and be appropriately health labelled and packaged;
  • Products being traded must be accompanied by a commercial document detailing the approved establishment of origin and the consignee for the purposes of traceability;
  • Imports must originate from a Third Country approved and listed by the European Commission for the export of that species/category of product. In addition they must come from an approved establishment, e.g. slaughterhouse, cutting plant, processing plant or coldstore that has been approved and listed for export to the EU for the product concerned;
  • Consignments from Third Countries may only be imported on to the territory of the Community through an EU approved border inspection post. The approved border inspection posts in Ireland are at Dublin Port and Shannon Airport;
  • The importer is required to provide the Border Inspection Post with prior notification of arrival of each consignment that is to be imported;
  • On arrival the consignment must be accompanied by the appropriate model health certificate required under EU law including, in the case of products derived from susceptible animal species, the required declaration with regard to BSE;
  • All importers of animal products into Ireland must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Animal By-products:

  • There is a general ban on the feeding of animal by-products to farm animals in the food chain;
  • Trade and import in unprocessed animal by-products is limited to especially approved establishments;
  • Animal by-products that are finished and processed products must be appropriately wrapped, labelled and transported and accompanied by a commercial document;
  • Imports must originate from a Third Country approved and listed by the European Commission for the export of that species/category of animal by-product. In addition they must come from an establishment approved by the third country for export to the EU of the animal by-product concerned;
  • The importer is required to provide the Border Inspection Post with prior notification of arrival of each consignment that is to be imported;
  • On arrival the consignment must be accompanied by the appropriate model health certificate required under EU law including, in the case of products derived from susceptible animal species, the required declaration with regard to BSE;
  • All importers of animal products into Ireland must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

SAFEGUARD MEASURES

Where there are concerns with regard to the effectiveness of controls operated in a Third Country approved for export of animals or animal products to the EU or, where animal disease outbreaks occur in a country or in regions of that country, the EU introduces safeguard measures where imports of susceptible animals or animal products from the area concerned impose risks for human and animal health. These measures, introduced by means of EU Commission Decision, may ban or control imports of susceptible animals or animal products from the area until the risks to EU health are eliminated. Safeguard measures limiting or banning trade from an EU country or region are also implemented where, for example, the conditions of an animal disease outbreak could seriously effect production and trade in the EU.

Forms for registration as an importer and further information on imports is available from the Food Safety Liaison Division, (Imports Section), Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 6072892/6072896. There is also information on the Department's Web site: www.agriculture.gov.ie - choose `Trade and Exports' > `Import of Animals and Products of Animal origin'.

Information on animal by-product establishment approvals may be obtained from the Meat Hygiene and Animal By-products Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Grattan Business Centre, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Tel: 057 8694348

*Products for human consumption include fresh meat of bovine animals, swine, sheep, goats or domestic solipeds (e.g. horses), poultry meat, rabbitmeat and farmed game meat, meat products and preparations, milk and milk products, eggs and egg products, animal casings, honey, frogs legs, snails, fish and fishery products.

Animal by-products include non-tanned hides/skins, petfood, bones and bone products, processed animal protein (e.g. fishmeal and bloodmeal), blood and blood products, serum, lard and rendered fats, raw material for the manufacture of pet foods or technical products, game trophies, unprocessed manure, processed manure and processed manure products, apiculture products, unprocessed wool, hair, bristles and feathers.

PERSONAL IMPORT OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS - ADVICE TO TRAVELLERS

From EU Countries
In order to maintain the high level of protection for animal and public health only animal products which have been produced in accordance with EU rules may be imported for the purpose of own consumption, and then only if contained in the personal luggage of travellers and intended for their personal or domestic consumption. Generally, this applies to animal products, which are on sale to the public in the Member State of origin that have been appropriately packaged and have an identifying EU health mark.

From Non-EU Countries
The personal import of meat and milk products for own consumption purposes from almost all non-EU countries, by means of personal baggage, is prohibited under EU and national regulations.

For more specific information please refer to the Department's website www.agriculture.gov.ie choose `Trade and Exports' `Import of Animals and Products of Animal origin' or contact the Food Safety Liaison Division, (Imports Section), Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 6072892/6072896

ANIMAL WELFARE

FARM ANIMAL WELFARE ADVISORY COUNCIL

In 2002, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food established the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC) which brought together, for the first time in Ireland, representatives of the principal stakeholders (from animal welfare organisations to farming bodies and from Government Departments - North and South - to veterinary representative bodies) in an advisory body to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which has a broad mandate and an impressive work programme.

In 2004 FAWAC introduced the Early Warning/Intervention System for Animal Welfare Cases involving the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Irish Farmers' Association and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals. The objective of this system is to provide a framework within which problems can be spotted before they become critical or overwhelming. This will in turn facilitate timely, effective and sensitive intervention or the provision of assistance by, as appropriate, public agencies, neighbours, farming bodies and welfare groups. The new system will allow for concerned individuals to approach their local IFA representatives, their local SPCA or indeed the Department in the knowledge that the matter will thereafter be dealt with in the most effective, timely and sensitive manner. This can only be to the benefit of the animals themselves and the persons concerned. However, where circumstances so warrant, it is recognised that prosecutions may be taken by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The role of the Garda Síochána under the Protection of Animals Act, 1911 (as amended) is also acknowledged.

In 2009 FAWAC produced a booklet entitled Animal Welfare Guidelines for Managing Acutely Injured Livestock On Farm. These guidelines have been produced to set out the procedure for managing an injured animal on farm. In 2010 FAWAC produced a booklet on the Welfare of Pigs. FAWAC has already produced six other Animal Welfare Guideline booklets for Poultry, Beef, Sheep, Dairy and Equine farmers and advising best practice for the Welfare of Animals during transport. It is proposed to publish similar guidelines in relation to the keeping of laying hens in 2010.

Copies of these publications are available from Animal Health and Welfare Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Kildare St, Dublin 2 - Tel. 01- 6072706.

EX-GRATIA FUNDING TO ANIMAL WELFARE BODIES

Since the mid 1990's the practice has been maintained of providing ex-gratia payments to a range of animal welfare bodies throughout the country to assist in their work over the succeeding 12 months in directly delivering care and welfare services to animals. These payments have been acknowledged by all concerned as having been of real practical benefit to the bodies in question and to the animals with which they come into contact

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE

In 2002 the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food established the Scientific Advisory Committee on Animal Health and Welfare (SACAHW). SACAHW is comprised of scientific experts who are available to furnish the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with advice on various issues of animal health and welfare, which may from time to time arise.

PROTECTION OF ANIMALS DURING TRANSPORT

EU Council Regulation 1 of 2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations prescribe strict standards for animal handling and the state of the vehicle and hygiene and, on long journeys, standards for feeding, watering, resting periods, journey times and stocking densities during transportation. The Regulation came into effect on 5 January 2007 and has been given legal effect in Ireland by the European Communities (Animal Transport and Control Post) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 675 of 2006). The Council Regulation applies to the transport of live animals, including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and horses and sets out conditions as follows:

  • On animal welfare, mode of transport and loading facilities to be met by all transporters of animals irrespective of distance travelled;
  • Training and authorisation of person who transports live animals over a distance in excess of 65km for commercial purposes;
  • Operators of assembly centres must ensure that animals are treated in accordance with the technical rules of the Regulation;
  • Inspection of vehicles and maintenance of records of persons who transport animals on long journeys (defined as over eight hours). Such vehicles must have satellite based navigation systems installed within deadlines laid down in the Regulation.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has undertaken to increase awareness of the legal requirements of those in charge of animals during transport. A system of vehicle inspections is in place, under the above-mentioned legislation. The inspections carried out by Department staff, throughout the country encompass all forms of animal transport.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have produced a poster and information leaflets on the transport of horses and livestock, which have been made freely available. In addition, the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC) at the request of the Department has produced a Best Practice for the Welfare of Animals during Transport booklet.

Farming Organisations, operators of assembly centres and livestock marts, hauliers and international transporters have been informed through the press and through correspondence of the requirements of the Regulation.

For further information on Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and how to apply for a transport authorisation, please contact National Beef Assurance Division at the contact details below or alternatively log on to the Department¿s website www.agriculture.gov.ie/animaltransport.

Further information on the Protection of Animals During Transport may be obtained from National Beef Assurance Scheme Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Backweston, Celbridge, Co. Kildare.  Tel: 01 5058881; Email: transport@agriculture.gov.ie

PROHIBITION ON TAIL DOCKING OF BOVINE ANIMALS

S.I. No. 263 of 2003, Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes Act 1984 (Bovine Animals), Prohibition on Tail Docking Regulations 2003, prohibits tail docking of bovine animals except in limited circumstances.

WELFARE OF FARMED ANIMALS, INCLUDING LAYING HENS, CALVES AND PIGS AND ANIMALS BEING SLAUGHTERED

Stricter welfare standards for farm animals are now in operation and must be implemented to a large extent at farm level. The European Communities (Welfare of Farmed Animals) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 14 of 2008) give effect to a series of European Directives on welfare including laying hens, calves, pigs and animals being slaughtered. The Regulations set out general conditions for the keeping of laying hens and the minimum requirements of accommodation for pigs and calves in relation to space, lighting, ventilation, veterinary treatment etc. to allow the animals to express natural behaviour. The regulations also detail requirements relating to slaughtering practices and sets out approved methods for the slaughter of animals. The regulations require that an owner take all necessary steps to ensure the welfare of an animal under his or her care and to ensure that the animal is not caused unnecessary pain or injury.