Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Draught Horse Stud Book
181. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he is aware that the Irish draught horse breeders are being forced to travel to the United Kingdom to have their draught mares and stallions inspected for approval to be included in the Irish Draught Stud Book; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2849/16]
Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) maintains the Irish Horse Register which incorporates the Irish Sport Horse and the Irish Draught Studbooks. HSI has received an approval from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for this purpose. Commission Decision 92/353, which lays down the criteria for approval for bodies to maintain a studbook, requires the authorities of a Member State, i.e. the Department, to grant official approval or recognition to any organisation or association which maintains or establishes a stud-book, provided it meets the conditions laid down in the Annex of this Decision. In this Annex, legislation places the onus on a breeding body to develop and formulate a breeding policy for the breed. In relation to Irish Draught and Irish Sport Horse breeds, the breeding policy is devised by a Sub Board of the HSI which deals specifically with breeding and related matters. Stallion and mare inspections are normally part of HSI’s Breeding Policy but for 2016 the Breeding Sub Board has decided to conduct a fundamental review of this process for the Irish Sport Horse and Irish Draught Studbooks. Pending this review, the Sub Board decided to suspend the normal spring stallion and mare inspections.
Horse Sport Ireland invited submissions in relation to the review, with a closing date of January 11, 2016 and it is expected that the review will be completed by the end of February.
I am aware of the concern among certain stakeholders in relation to the decision to temporarily suspend inspections, and in that regard my Department has received assurances that the review of the inspection regime will be expedited.