Written answers

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Equine Industry Issues

Photo of John O'MahonyJohn O'Mahony (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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151. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the actions he will take in order to reduce the cost of identification process for those involved in the equine business; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16943/14]

Photo of John O'MahonyJohn O'Mahony (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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152. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he accepts that the burden of registering and chipping horses is a very considerable expense for farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16951/14]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 151 and 152 together.

The identification of horses (and all other equines) is governed by EU Council Directives 90/426/EEC and 90/427/EEC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 504/2008 of 6 June 2008, which have been transposed into national legislation via S.I. No. 357 of 2011 – European Communities (Equine) Regulations 2001 (as amended). This legislation imposes an obligation and, as a corollary, any associated cost, on the owners and keepers of equines to ensure that equine animals in their possession are identified in accordance with the legislation.

The fees charged by veterinarians and Passport Issuing Organisations to individuals for identifying horses are commercial matters agreed between the relevant parties and my Department has no function in the matter. The reality is that ownership of property, including horses, involves certain costs and responsibilities and it would be entirely inappropriate to ask the taxpayer to subsidise this cost.

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