10. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of his deliberations on the Welfare of Greyhounds (Amendment) Bill 2017; the way in which he will improve the welfare of greyhounds being exported in the interim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16267/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Greyhound Industry)

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: The Minister and Minister of State are hoping to introduce the greyhound industry (amendment) Bill shortly. It has undergone pre-legislative scrutiny and so forth, but there are rumours within the animal welfare community, including among the ISPCA, Dogs Trust and other organisations, that there will not be a white list of countries with low welfare standards to which the export of greyhounds will be forbidden.
As the Minister and Minister of State know, I introduced ...

22. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the Common Fisheries Policy and the challenges facing the fishing industry from March 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16268/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): As the Deputy is aware the biggest challenge facing the Irish fishing industry is Brexit which is the reason the sector has been a high priority for Ireland in the Brexit negotiations, and will continue to be so for the Government. I am determined to ensure that fisheries remain high on the Brexit agenda in the EU and that the interests of Ireland’s fishing communities are fully safeguarded.
My continued objective is to ensur...

726. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way in which a dog (details supplied) has been found in China; if he will order the return of this dog; the steps he is taking to protect the export of Irish greyhounds to countries with little or no animal welfare laws; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12497/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I am aware of recent reports on the export of Irish greyhounds to China.
Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established in 1958 under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. 
Bord na gCon has informed me that it has no control ...

44. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the measures he is taking to ensure that puppies are not being sold illegally from here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6665/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Dog Breeding Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The welfare of animals is regulated by the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.  The Act applies to all animals, whether kept for commercial, domestic, sport, show or other purposes and contains robust measures against the ill-treatment of animals. The Act also provides for the application of fines and imprisonment on conviction of an offence.
Trade within the EU of dogs is governed by EU law.  Dogs moved to another EU Member ...

84. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the measures he is taking to curb the illegal sale and export of Irish dogs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6666/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Dog Breeding Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The welfare of animals is regulated by the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.  The Act applies to all animals, whether kept for commercial, domestic, sport, show or other purposes and contains robust measures against the ill-treatment of animals. The Act also provides for the application of fines and imprisonment on conviction of an offence.
Trade within the EU of dogs is governed by EU law.  Dogs moved to another EU Member ...

1215. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the measures he is taking to address current regulations for fox hunting in the area of Macroom, County Cork (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1344/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1215 and 1216 together.
I am aware of and concerned at the reported incident in Macroom. 
The Hunting Association of Ireland has a detailed Code of Conduct in place in respect of the hunting of foxes. I am disappointed that despite the existence of this Code, this event occurred. I have asked my officials to engage with the Hunting Association to determine whether, in light of this event, the C...

1216. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the actions being taken by his Department in respect of the fox hunting incident in Macroom, County Cork, on 26 December 2017 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1345/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1215 and 1216 together.
I am aware of and concerned at the reported incident in Macroom. 
The Hunting Association of Ireland has a detailed Code of Conduct in place in respect of the hunting of foxes. I am disappointed that despite the existence of this Code, this event occurred. I have asked my officials to engage with the Hunting Association to determine whether, in light of this event, the C...

1239. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when he last met the chief executive officer of an organisation (details supplied); when he will next meet the chief executive officer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1799/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Ministerial Meetings)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy Andrew Doyle, who has responsibility for the greyhound sector, has met Mr. Dollard, most recently at an information meeting given by Mr Dollard to members of the Oireachtas on the 29th November 2017. Senior officials within my Department have also met Mr Dollard on a number of occasions.
 ...

395. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has been informed of the fate of greyhounds once they leave the country; when the greyhound industry (amendment) Bill will be published; his plans to include an amendment to prevent the export of greyhounds to countries in which the welfare standards are below those here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52953/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Greyhound Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The draft General Scheme of the Greyhound Industry Bill has progressed through the pre-legislative scrutiny phase. It is hoped that a memorandum will go to Government in January, which will request approval to publish the updated General Scheme and to submit it to the Office of Parliamentary Counsel for drafting.
I fully endorse Bord na gCon’s (BnaG) advice to all owners involved in the export of greyhounds to only export to ...

200. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will report on his recent trade mission to the Far East; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52128/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Trade Missions Participation)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): During the recent trade mission to Japan and South Korea I was accompanied by 40 representatives of the Irish food sector, as well as by experts from my Department, the CEO of Bord Bia and senior representatives from Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc. 
This was a very opportune time to bring a delegation of Ireland’s food leaders to this part of the world, given that the EU has concluded a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea as...

167. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of veterinary inspections at clubs (details supplied) in 2015, 2016 and to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47710/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Greyhound Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Under the provisions of the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, the regulation of coursing is chiefly a matter for the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) subject to the general control and direction of Bord na gCon (BnG).
A Monitoring Committee on Coursing is in place, comprising of officials from my Department, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the ICC to monitor developments in coursing and in that regard the situation is ...

359. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the parameters of the partnership between his Department and an organisation (details supplied) as cited on its website; if State funding is provided to the organisation; if so, the amount provided in 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47706/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 354 and 359 together.
My Department does not provide any financial support to the organisation in question. Nor does my Department have any partnership arrangement with the organisation. 
The organisation is one of many interest groups who may make submissions on matters they are concerned with and who are free to seek meetings with relevant officials.
 ...

59. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the input his Department will have into the European Court of Auditors audit on animal welfare measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46932/17 asked on 08 Nov 2017 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The European Court of Auditors (ECA) mission is to contribute to improving the European Union’s (EU) financial management, promote accountability and transparency and act as the independent guardian of the financial interests of the citizens of the Union. The ECA’s role as the EU’s independent external auditor is to check that EU funds are correctly accounted for, are raised and spent in accordance with the relevant rules and...

69. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will write to the European Court of Auditors and request it to extend its upcoming audit on animal welfare measures to include companion animals also; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46933/17 asked on 08 Nov 2017 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) mission is to contribute to improving EU financial management, promote accountability and transparency, and act as the independent guardian of the financial interests of the citizens of the Union. The ECA’s role as the EU’s independent external auditor is to check that EU funds are correctly accounted for, are raised and  spent in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations and have...

461. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of calls to his Department’s animal welfare helpline in 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42559/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My predecessor, Minister Coveney, established the animal welfare helpline and associated email service in 2012. This helpline facilitates the reporting by members of the public of any suspicion of poor animal welfare or animal cruelty taking place – whether within the realm of a farming situation, a sporting or recreational activity, or indeed in a public place or an urban setting. I think increased public awareness of anima...

462. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of horses slaughtered for human consumption in 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of approved equine slaughter establishments in 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42560/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Animal Slaughtering Data)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): There are currently two establishments approved by my Department to operate as equine slaughter plants under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin on the hygiene of foodstuffs.
The plants are located in County Kilkenny and County Kildare.
The number of horses slaughtered for human consumption in 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017 are...

463. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of prosecutions under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, in 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of prosecution files being processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42561/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 463 and 464 together.
The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 has changed the basis upon which animal owners must treat their animals and is specifically designed to allow early intervention in a much wider range of cases than the previous legislation allowed for. Thus minor cases can be tackled before they escalate and the Act is a vehicle to encourage and educate animal keepers. This new app...

464. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of convictions under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017, by district; the number of prosecution files being processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42562/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 463 and 464 together.
The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 has changed the basis upon which animal owners must treat their animals and is specifically designed to allow early intervention in a much wider range of cases than the previous legislation allowed for. Thus minor cases can be tackled before they escalate and the Act is a vehicle to encourage and educate animal keepers. This new app...

465. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of inspections of mink fur farms in each year since 2012; the number of scheduled inspections; the number of unannounced inspections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42563/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Fur Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): There are currently three mink fur farms operating in Ireland. The number of farms reduced from four to three in 2014. 
Inspections of these farms relating to their licensing and to animal welfare matters are carried out by officers from my Department.
Since 2012 there have been 62 inspections carried out of which 39 have been unannounced, breakdown for each year is as follows:
 2012 2013 2014 2015 ...

43. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the process that takes place when a racing greyhound tests positive for banned substances; if he is reviewing that process in view of recent test results in the racing industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41227/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Greyhound Industry)

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: Many people were shocked during the summer when the champion greyhound Clonbrien Hero tested positive for benzoylecgonine. It seems the only sanction for the owner is a significant withdrawal of prize money and the fact the dog will not be allowed to race again until it has passed further tests. What is the process when a racing greyhound tests positive for banned substances? How is the process being monitored and enforced? Are we doing enough testing?
 ...

68. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if funding will be provided in the budget 2018 Estimates for his Department to enable the dredging of Howth fishery harbour in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41228/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Fishery Harbour Centres)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Howth Fishery Harbour Centre is one of the six designated Fishery Harbour Centres which are owned, managed and maintained by my Department under Statute. 
Regarding a possible dredging project in Howth Fishery Harbour Centre, preparation work has been underway for some time.  A report from site investigation works, which was commissioned in 2015, was received by my Department in March 2016. The report included vital informati...

457. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds exported to the United Kingdom for sales and trials between 2010 to 2016; the number returned here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41326/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Greyhound Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Exporters must comply with EU law on the protection of animals during transport (EC No 1/2005), while the transport of animals by air is also governed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. 
There are no requirements or facilities for recording the breed of dog as part of the export certification process. Once animal health and welfare certification requirements are met, all dogs, including greyhoun...

1201. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the estimated cost of dredging Howth harbour, County Dublin in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35957/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Harbours and Piers Maintenance)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My Department owns, operates and manages six designated Fishery Harbours Centres under Statute, one of which is Howth Fishery Harbour Centre.
A number of investigative and preparatory works and initiatives have been undertaken in respect of a potential dredging project in Howth Fishery Harbour Centre.
Most recently, in June 2016, a firm of consulting engineers were engaged to prepare a detailed report on options, including the...

1202. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the estimated cost to increase the number of inspections of transport vehicles of exporters of live animals to at least 2,000 inspections per year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35958/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Live Exports)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Officials of my Department perform mandatory, random and risk-based inspections on all vehicles involved in live animal transport, with the frequency of inspections varying with the number of animals exported in a given year. The current rate of inspections are sufficient and send out a clear message to those transporting animals on the importance attached to protecting the welfare of animals during transport.
 ...

583. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to meet the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, to discuss the UK’s decision to withdraw from the London fisheries convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32590/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Brexit Issues)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The action by the UK in announcing its withdrawal from the 1964 London Fisheries Convention was not unexpected.  The UK Government had been intimating this decision for some time now.  It is nonetheless unwelcome and unhelpful as it suggests a signal of the UK intent to take a hard line on fisheries in the context of Brexit.
There are no immediate direct impacts for the Irish fishing industry from this action as it will not ta...