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Labelling, Feeding and Legislation to Be Discussed

by 5m Editor
1 December 2008, at 9:05a.m.

IRELAND - A meeting of the Poultry Expert Group has been arranged for Tuesday, December 9, to discuss the various issues facing the poultry industry.

According to the Irish Examiner, the group reported in 2007 on a range of issues including labelling, environment protection, welfare legislation and feeding stuffs.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Brendan Smith said he had asked the group to reconvene so that it can review its recommendations in the light of developments over the last year and consider what further issues warrant consideration.

Mr Smith also told Andrew Doyle TD, in a written reply to a Dáil question that action in regard to the poultry industry has been ongoing.

Bord Bia has been very active in growing and enhancing the Poultry Quality Assurance Scheme which is critical to Irish product retaining market share in the domestic retail market for fresh poultry meat.

“My department operates an extensive range of controls to uphold the country’s avian health status. There is also a scheme of financial assistance for flock owners in whose flocks certain types of salmonella have been detected.

“Department veterinary personnel are present in all poultry meat production premises to monitor compliance with public health legislation,” he said.

Mr Smith said another issue facing the poultry sector is compliance with legislation on the protection of the environment.

The Intensive Livestock Group was established in his department to assist poultry and pig producers in finding viable solutions to manure disposal problems. Producers, processors and Teagasc are represented on this group.

“I believe there should be wider country of origin labelling of all meats and my department has been in extensive communication over the past year with the European Commission with a view to making such labelling compulsory.

“While the commission adopted a negative opinion in relation to our proposal for national legislation I will continue to press for country of origin labelling in the context of the commission’s proposal for a new regulation on food information,” he said.

“I will consider what further initiatives are warranted in the light of the deliberations of the Poultry Expert Group.”