Thursday, 29 April 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Research and Development
179. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the vets that arrived in Ireland to work on a research project (details supplied) represents the original intended full cohort of vets from abroad it was intended would work on the research; if not, if the roles and activities it was envisaged by participants that have been unable to take up their positions have since been fulfilled by vets otherwise normally practicing in the State; if the State has sought to have such roles and activities fulfilled by vets normally practicing in Ireland without success; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22541/21]
180. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if vets that arrived in Ireland to work on a research project (details supplied) are registered with the Veterinary Council; if not, the legislative or statutory framework they are practicing veterinary medicine under; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22542/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 179 and 180 together.
This matter regards a collaborative research project being organised by Teagasc Moorepark and UCD to examine the potential role of In Vitro Embryo Production in bovines. The ultimate objective is to improve the efficiency of dairy and beef production in Ireland.
I understand the number of veterinarians that arrived in Ireland to work on this research project does not represent the original intended full cohort of veterinarians from abroad. The specialist company involved in the research had originally intended to bring in two veterinarians from South America, both highly experienced in performing procedures around harvesting oocytes (‘eggs’) from live donor female cattle and embryo transfers. One of the two veterinarians who came to Ireland, the other was unable to travel.
All experimental procedures were approved by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), which is the competent authority in Ireland responsible for the implementation of European Union legislation (Directive 2010/63/EU) for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (Scientific Animal Protection ). The veterinarian currently in Ireland was authorised to work on the research project by HPRA.
The embryo transfer work that the second Veterinarian was scheduled to undertake is now being carried out by individuals approved to carry out such duties on a commercial basis here in Ireland.
Regarding the veterinarian currently in Ireland , his travel was subject to Department of Justice working visa requirements and Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines.