The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today announced that he has introduced new legislation to regulate livestock marts, updating legislation that has been in place for many years.
The Animal Health and Welfare (Livestock Marts) Regulations 2018 is enacted under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 and replaces the Livestock Marts Act 1967.
The Minister said that the Regulations modernise the laws relating to livestock marts, and require livestock marts to have a new licence prior to 1 January 2019. The Regulations represent a significant step forward in relation to animal health and welfare requirements in a trading environment that matches international standards.
The Minister said that the Regulations put Ireland to the fore of best international practice and added "I am conscious of the importance of managing the risks of animal disease associated with the movement of animals and in that regard, it is critical to have robust biosecurity procedures in marts".
The Minister emphasised that he is very conscious of the need to maintain very high standards of animal welfare, including calf welfare. The prohibition on possession of a stick around calves less than 42 days of age at a livestock mart will encourage livestock marts to modernise droving behaviours to reduce stress in cattle presented at livestock marts.
The Minister said that "The inclusion of a provision in the legislation prohibiting the sale of calves under 10 days at marts (effective date 1st January 2019) is a progressive step in advancing animal welfare". Minister Creed thanked the stakeholders for their very constructive participation in the consultation process when drafting this modern regulatory framework for the livestock marts sector.
Concluding, the Minister said "In preparing and drafting the Regulations, I have always been aware of the need to balance the requirements of the commercial agri-food sector with the need to protect the health and welfare of animals. The focus on animal health and welfare in the trading environment for live animals is a vital component of our strategy for the continued success of Ireland’s agri-food sector and of obtaining and maintaining export markets".
Minister Creed Extends Fodder Transport Support Measures
Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD announced today that he has extended the duration of both the Fodder Import and Fodder Transport support measures for an additional week. These measures which were scheduled to conclude on Monday April 30 will now run until Monday 07 May.
The Minister said ''While the weather has improved and grass growth continues to improve significantly, there are farmers in some parts of the country who still need to locate fodder for their animals. Having reviewed the situation and listened to the views of members of the representative fodder group I established in March, I have decided that extending the closing date for the two measures for one further week is appropriate”.
Demand for fodder has reduced significantly. However, there remain some areas where land is not yet sufficiently dry to graze livestock and there is still a short term demand for fodder.
Concluding, Minister reaffirmed that "these measures are effectively addressing issues around fodder availability”.
The Minister reminded farmers that the animal welfare emergency assistance continues to operate where animal welfare is seriously at risk via the emergency helpline numbers – Call Save 0761 064408 or phone 01 6072379.
- Tags: Minister's Announcements