Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
661. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the treatment of minks in mink farms; if he will consider revoking licences for this activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17634/17]
In 2011, a Review Group was established to examine all aspects of fur farming in Ireland. The Terms of Reference of the Review Group were:
(i) To review fur farming in Ireland taking into account existing legislative provisions for the licensing of mink farming
(ii) To comment on the economic benefits of the sector
(iii) To consider the effectiveness of existing welfare controls, and
(iv) To make appropriate recommendations.
The Review Group invited submissions from the public and interested parties and considered over four hundred submissions which were received.
On foot of the Review Group’s deliberations, my Department introduced more rigorous controls on licence holders in the areas of animal welfare, animal accommodation, security and nutrient management. Licensees are subject to regular inspections, including unannounced inspections by Department officials.
My Department has statutory responsibility for the welfare and protection of farmed animals under the European Communities (Welfare of Farmed Animals) Regulations, 2010(Statutory Instrument No 311/2010) and the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. Irish fur farmers are subject to the same animal welfare legislation as any other livestock farmer.
There are currently a total of three operators in Ireland licensed to keep mink.