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Parliamentary questions
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18 July 2017
Question for written answer E-004954-17
to the Council
Rule 130
Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Registration and identification of horses in Ireland
 Answer in writing 

In Ireland, horse breeders must obtain a passport for their animal within six months of its birth. Breeders who obtain a passport after this deadline will have their animals ‘marked out’ on its passport, which means that the animal may not enter the human food chain.

Irish passport issuing systems are complex, cumbersome and often subject to delays. Many horse breeders have had their animals rendered effectively worthless due to maladministration on the part of the various passport issuing authorities operating in Ireland.

There have been calls from many quarters, including from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine in January 2016, for a simplified system of registration and traceability similar to that in operation in the bovine sector in Ireland.

1. Can the Council confirm that Ireland’s system for registering and identifying horses goes beyond the requirements of EU directives on the matter?

2. Does it accept that Ireland’s system of registration and traceability in the bovine sector excels in ensuring food integrity and protecting human health?

3. Does it believe that a system of registration, identification and traceability similar to that employed in the bovine sector would be in compliance with EU directives and regulations if employed in the equine sector?

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