Thursday, 21 May 2020
Outbreaks of Covid-19 in Meat Processing Plants: Statements
Michael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
I am aware of the greyhound racing issue and we have spoken about it previously. Every sector that is subject to the strictures of the road map that has been published is anxious to have the white flag raised for them at an earlier date. I am aware of the interests of the greyhound sector in that regard. I do not want to mislead anybody and it is not an easy ask but we are engaged with the sector and I will keep the Deputy informed of developments.
By way of response to the Deputy's observations on his constituency experience, I will not comment on an individual case but what I take from it is the co-operation that existed between the meat plant involved and the HSE. Whereas I cannot answer for every individual plant, the feedback I am getting from my staff, who are in every one of these plants, is similar. They are getting co-operation from management and the feedback from the HSE is equally reassuring. Regrettably, that is not sufficient to say that the virus will not breach the best biosecurity measures that everybody collectively working in the best interests of worker welfare puts up. It is, however, reassuring to know there is a unity of purpose. Hopefully, for every individual who has been contaminated, there will be a successful outcome and recovery. I also hope we can collectively try to halt the march of the virus, which is particularly insidious and difficult to contain.