Written answers

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Pigmeat Sector

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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476. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which new regulations are being imposed on the pig production sector given that new regulations have only been introduced in the past number of years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38953/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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No changes to the regulations in relation to pig husbandry or welfare have been introduced in recent years; the current law dates back to 2008 (Council Directive 2008/120/EC). This Directive was transposed into Irish law and has remained unchanged since then (SIs 71 of 2009 and 311 of 2010).

The European Commission has drawn attention to the urgent need for compliance by the intensive pig industry with this Directive to improve significantly. This has been communicated clearly by way of a letter from Commissioner Kyriakides to my predecessor in May 2020, and in the findings and recommendations of a recent European Commission audit which took place in November 2020 (2020-6961 Animal welfare reporting - final report.pdf).

In light of this urgency, and taking into account significant evolution in the evidence base around animal welfare as well as market and consumer demands, national regulation concerning pig husbandry and welfare is under review by the Department.

A legislative proposal is likely to be tabled later this year, and this will be done in full consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

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