Written answers

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Department of Agriculture and Food

Animal Health Standards

9:00 pm

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context

Question 96: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if his Department is working with the new body charged with improving non-regulatory diseases such as mastitis, IBR and BVD; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12002/09]

Photo of Margaret ConlonMargaret Conlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

Question 98: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the progress being made by Animal Health Ireland in relation to the commitment in the Programme for Government to introduce a herd health initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11876/09]

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Minister, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

I propose to take Questions Nos. 96 and 98 together.

I recently launched Animal Health Ireland which aims to improve overall animal health standards, thereby enhancing on-farm productivity and securing improved profitability for farmers through a coordinated national approach to animal health. This delivers on the commitment contained in the Programme for Government, referred to by Deputy Conlon, that my Department would "introduce a new Herd Health Initiative to deal with non-regulated diseases".

The main priority of Animal Health Ireland will be to identify and prioritise non-regulated disease conditions that impact negatively from both a financial and disease perspective on Irish livestock, excluding those already covered by regulation. Non-regulated diseases include mastitis, IBR and BVD.

Animal Health Ireland represents a significant change from the long-established Government-led model that has characterised animal health policy to date in Ireland. AHI provides a unique opportunity to develop an improved understanding of current practices and future trends in international best practice in the area of herd health and affords those organisations — including farmers, producers, processors, and support/advisory service — actively participating in the project to build on the significant resources, informational infrastructure, capabilities and expertise already available within the range of organisations and, following on from that, to develop a national strategy to take appropriate action in the area of non-regulatory animal health, which in effect will allow industry to a large extent to shape its own future.

My Department is cooperating fully with AHI. As well as meeting some of the initial costs of AHI my Department is providing a small number of Executive staff and additional assistance by way of expertise to assist the interim Steering Group of AHI for a period. Work has commenced on the administrative arrangements to be put in place to support AHI, which will operate independently of my Department.

Comments

No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.