Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
754. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to an advertisement for a horse abattoir (details supplied); if his officials have made an inspection of the premises; the number of horse only abattoirs here; if it is within the terms of a licence to destroy and-or put down a horse due to inability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11063/20]
There are currently two establishments approved by my Department to operate as equine slaughter plants under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin on the hygiene of foodstuffs.
The slaughter process and the handling of animals destined for slaughter takes place under strictly supervised conditions. My Department has a permanent presence in each of the slaughter plants under its supervision and Department staff, with the assistance of temporary veterinary inspectors engaged on a contract basis, carry out regular checks as part of official regulatory controls.
All slaughter plants whose meat is destined for human consumption must meet the requirements set out in detailed EU regulations relating to food safety and animal health and welfare. Primary responsibility for compliance with these regulatory requirements rests in the first instance with food business operators. In addition, each of the slaughter establishments under the supervision of my Department has a qualified animal welfare officer who oversees the welfare of the animals at the time of slaughter.