Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016: Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Photo of Michael FitzmauriceMichael Fitzmaurice (Roscommon-Galway, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Chair and I welcome the Minister and his officials. The most successful system probably ever brought in in this country was the animal identification and movement, AIM, system, by the Department of Agriculture. There is low-hanging fruit in the report that we did, which could be moved on pretty rapidly, that would give confidence in the whole sector in terms of traceability. I understand he will examine the entire report and I do not expect him to say that he will do X, Y or Z today, but I ask him to look favourably on that.

I concur with the previous two speakers who mentioned pony racing and point to points that there is major problem with insurance. We are facing a situation where, because of companies leaving the market - and I acknowledge it is a private market - but we are leaving ourselves under ferocious pressure and I ask the Minister's officials to liaise with the Minister of State, Deputy Seán Fleming, or the Department of Finance, to try to find a solution to that.

I would like to mention the equine farming cap in the context of horse breeders and so on under the targeted agricultural modernisation scheme, TAMS. Does the Minister envisage that he will be able to broaden some of the supports under TAMS? I believe they were included in the scheme but were never kicked into gear, and that is the big problem.

Every Deputy supports as much animal welfare as possible because it is -----


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