Coveney, Simon

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Motor Vehicles (Duties and Licences) Bill 2013: Report and Final Stages (Continued)

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Order for Report Stage

I move: "That Report Stage be taken now."More Button

Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Report Stage

I move amendment No.1 :More Button

Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Resumed)

These amendments will allow a horizontal regime to supersede existing provisions for identification in the Control of Dogs Act 1986, the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 and the Welfare of Greyh...More Button

Regarding amendments Nos. 1 and 2, as we need to amend the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 and the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011, it is necessary to include in the Long Title that amendment ...More Button

Amendment No. 27 effectively bypasses section 16 of Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 in circumstances where a dog is identified in accordance with the animal health and welfare regulations. T...More Button

In other words, I want to introduce a regulation which requires all dogs to be microchipped, a move I believe Deputies will welcome. It will take some time to put that regulation in place and we...More Button

At the moment there is no legal requirement for an owner to have a dog microchipped. We have two organisations, the Dogs Trust-----More Button

Section 16(1) of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 states:More Button

Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Resumed) (Continued)

To reply to the first question, I intend to bring the regulation to the committee. We have several codes of conduct and regulations to agree to relating to fur farming, the digging out of animals ...More Button

Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked about retrospection. I am keen to see all dogs microchipped, but we have to have a reasonable timeframe for people to do this. I understand the United Kingdom is...More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 2:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 3:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 4:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 5:More Button

I realise it is a somewhat farcical explanation, but it is accurate and takes account of Deputy Thomas Pringle's amendment.More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 6:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 7:More Button

We had a good discussion on this on Committee Stage and while I am trying to accommodate people's concerns, there are some things we cannot do. Deputy O'Sullivan wants fur farming banned, but what...More Button

This is a practice that is relatively small in Ireland and there are only four or five fur farms here. I want to ensure that the fur farming that takes place here is of the highest standard. If...More Button

I hope I will do a good day's work in the House. It is true there are only five fur farms. However, it is not true to say this practice is deliberately cruel. This is a farming practice and like...More Button

I have thought about this issue and considered banning fur farming, but on balance I believe better regulation is a fairer approach to take for the people in the industry. As legislators, we mus...More Button

One of the first things I did when I became Minister was to ask for a report on fur farming. I received that report and it makes a series of recommendations. Some Deputies have probably read th...More Button

What I said is that it is not deliberately cruel. People do not set out deliberately to be cruel.More Button

There are other countries that are not doing that. This is a policy choice. We have decided to ensure Ireland acts as an international benchmark in prioritising welfare standards. We will ensure...More Button

I accept that. I will accept the amendment.More Button

I do not propose to accept the amendment. I can understand what the Deputy is getting at, namely, if an authorised officer is to require somebody to stop what they are doing because the officer ha...More Button

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

The problem with it is that it would weaken the power of authorised officers. If one reads the section of the Bill which it is proposed to amend, it states: More Button

I move amendment No. 12:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I recognise that there are strong views on this issue. For some, hare coursing is an unacceptably cruel practice. For others, it is not. It is part of parish and club life and their upbringing w...More Button

It is important to record, for people who have never been to a coursing meeting - as I have not - that veterinary staff from my Department and rangers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service...More Button

Some people assume there is a significant mortality rate among hares used for coursing. It is important to record that a very high proportion of hares captured for coursing are returned to the w...More Button

These are the facts. That is not to say I am attempting to convince Deputies who are adamant that coursing should be banned. While I can understand their concerns, I must legislate in a balanced ...More Button

We had a long discussion on this on Committee Stage.More Button

My views are well known. I can understand the alternative view, which has been stated well by Deputies. We are taking a balanced approach and do not propose to ban hare coursing in this legislati...More Button

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

I move amendment No. 15:More Button

I move amendment No. 16:More Button

Essentially, this is about taking a pragmatic and sensible approach to poison so that farmers do not have to go through the process of applying for a permit to lay poison each time they wish do s...More Button

Yes. We deliberately have not dealt in a detailed way in this Bill with the laying of poison because it is dealt with under the Wildlife Acts. In the case of a person laying poison - in most case...More Button

What happened recently was shocking. My understanding is that the Wildlife Acts deal with that issue. It should not have happened. It is possible to secure prosecutions if it can be proven tha...More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 17:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

The Deputy will probably have anticipated what I am going to say on this. Amendment No. 18 proposes that a code of practice may issue in respect of animals used for scientific purposes. This is n...More Button

On animal research, the implementation of the three-Rs principle - namely, reduction, refinement and replacement - in respect of the use of animals in research forms a critical aspect of the new ...More Button

I understand what the Deputy is saying, but there are instances when a Minister needs to introduce regulations quickly, particularly in emergency situations. The status quo as referred...More Button

A Minister should have the flexibility to be able to introduce regulations if it is deemed necessary to do so without having to wait to get approval from the relevant committee. It is right that a...More Button

I can understand the Deputy's view. As the Minister responsible, I will try to bring as many of the regulations as we are preparing before a committee in order that we can debate them before the...More Button

I would like to think that the Government is making progress on that. In general, I think the formulation of policy and legislation is not being currently rushed through unless it is forced on us....More Button

I will respond to that. The case of animal health levies which the Deputy has raised is a fair point. The section the Deputy is seeking to amend states: "Where the Minister proposes to make regul...More Button

I move amendment No. 20:More Button

The amendments I propose to section 27 are designed to provide for maximum flexibility so the arrangements for the collection of the animal levies can be amended in future via regulations to reflec...More Button

Accordingly, the requirement for advance payment of the levy, whether in cash format or, if possible, securely, in respect of animals exported live from the State, as currently contained in the Bov...More Button

Regulations to be made under section 27(2) will facilitate the setting up of the system to ensure more cost-effective means of collecting the levy, particularly the animal health levy on live exp...More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 21:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 22:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 23:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 24:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 25:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 27:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

My legal advice is that the current wording allows that an officer of suitable grade can act for the Minister in appointing authorised officers and that therefore the amendment is not required, but...More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

We are all at the same thing here. Section 37(1) states: "The Minister may for the purposes of enforcing this Act or an EU measure, appoint in writing, such persons or classes of person as he or s...More Button

Let us take an example in which Ireland has a significant animal disease outbreak, forcing me to appoint hundreds of authorised officers to get a handle on sectioning off large areas of land and ...More Button

My amendment, No. 33, does not propose to appoint somebody under section 37(3) under a service agreement. My thinking is that a person with a lot of experience of dealing with cases of animal cr...More Button

Regarding Deputy Clare Daly's concerns, we will not necessarily have to employ a whole new raft of people. One can appoint an authorised officer who is currently employed by the Department, a lo...More Button

I feel my amendment deals with the concerns raised by Deputy Ó Cuív, while amendments Nos. 30 and 34 may actually preclude the persons whom the Deputies wish to see appointed to these positions f...More Button

I accept that, but I want the flexibility to appoint the right people. We will be screening potential officers to ensure they have the experience. The last thing we want is to appoint someone wit...More Button

I move amendment No. 31:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 32:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 33:More Button

I move amendment No. 35:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I will deal with these separately. We held a discussion on the matter on Committee Stage. Deputy Ó Cuív sought to set up two classes of authorised officer. The first was an officer of the Minist...More Button

Amendment No. 38 relates to the animal health and welfare notice, a concept we are introducing in the Bill whereby an authorised officer can give what is essentially a yellow card to someone. I ...More Button

I move amendment No. 37:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 39:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 40:More Button

It is important to put this matter in context. This measure provides that an authorised officer who clearly sees that there is something wrong in the context of compromising animal welfare cannot,...More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

  Amendment No. 41 not moved.More Button

I move amendment No. 42:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 43:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

Can I just make the point that we are doing exactly what Deputy Clare Daly suggests? We have increased the funding given to animal welfare organisations despite all the pressures of the last two b...More Button

I understand it will resume immediately after the Order of Business tomorrow morning. I will come back to this issue then. Perhaps we will finish the debate tomorrow. I hope that can be facilita...More Button

Mortgage Arrears: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members] (Continued)

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Coillte Teoranta Harvesting Rights Sale

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns regarding the sale of Coillte forests (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Further to the Government’s decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, the National Treasury Management Agency, via its NewERA Unit, engaged w...More Button

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Was asked: when a REP scheme 4 payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named commenced REPS 4 in July 2008 and received payments for the first four years of their contract.More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before ...More Button

Semi-State Bodies Remuneration

Was asked: the total cost to the taxpayer of paying the aggregate fees, salaries and any other remuneration to directors of all State bodies, to include majority State owned banks, all public interest directo...More Button

The details of the fees paid to Board members of the twelve State Bodies operating under the aegis of my Department for 2012 are outlined in the table.

More Button

Agriculture Schemes Eligibility

Was asked: the steps and criteria to be followed by a person to apply for entitlements under the national reserve.More Button

The National Reserve caters for new entrants to farming. In order to qualify for entitlements from the National Reserve applicants must have a herd number or have applied to their local District V...More Button

Applicants are required to meet certain criteria, which varies through the scheme years, with regard to income limits and educational qualifications. Under the 2012 National Reserve applicants mu...More Button

Funds in the National Reserve are limited and the Reserve is only replenished by the value of entitlements that remain unused. Should there be a 2013 National Reserve scheme, it will be announce...More Button

Forestry Sector

Was asked: the position regarding Coillte (details supplied); the action being taken to stop the sale of forestry areas since the publication of Peter Bacon’s report and the other available commentary and ana...More Button

Further to the Government’s decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, the National Treasury Management Agency, via its NewERA Unit, engaged w...More Button

Departmental Schemes

Was asked: when applications under the equine technical and equine breeding schemes National Development Plan 2007 – 2013 will be decided; the number of applications on hand; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

A total of 38 applications have been received for grants from this year’s allocation under the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Equine Technical and Equine Breeding Schemes. These applications a...More Button

Animal Carcase Disposal

Was asked: if he will consider expanding the subsidy for the collection and destruction of bovine animals to all ages; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The disposal of dead farm animals is subject to EU Regulations, notably Regulation (EC) No 1069 of 2009. The basic legal requirement is that animals, which die on farms, must generally be disposed ...More Button

My Department provided substantial funding towards the collection and destruction of all fallen bovines for a number of years until 2009. This was justified as part of Ireland’s response to the B...More Button

The current subsidy level for the collection of bovines over 48 months of age, for sampling, as required under the ongoing national BSE surveillance programme, is €30 (excluding VAT) for collecti...More Button

Commonage Lands

Was asked: if he will put measures in place for the gradual restocking of commonages areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Commonage lands form an important part of the farming enterprises of many farmers, particularly along the West Coast. They also form an important part of the local environment from the point of vie...More Button

Under-grazing leads to an increase in ineligible land under Direct Aid and Agri-Environment Schemes and leads to risk of financial corrections being imposed by EU Commission. It is vital, therefo...More Button

I readily acknowledge that it will not be an easy task, but it is achievable if we all work in a co-operative basis. If action is not taken now, the areas will continue to deteriorate and will le...More Button

In order to ensure that we achieve this objective, as already stated, we need the input of individual shareholders. Grazing plans, at the level of each commonage, will allow for greater flexibili...More Button

The Grazing Plan will have to cater the traditional farming methods for the area, with provision made for sheep and other animals, such as cattle, providing that they are appropriate to the habit...More Button

Apart from ensuring that the Grazing Plan is valid, there are a number of other complications, including:More Button

- Dormant shareholders – in the majority of cases, these persons are no longer farming; andMore Button

- Current claimants on the commonages, who do not farm or manage the lands.More Button

The issue of whether the latter claimants will continue to be eligible for payment will have to be examined.More Button

There are other issues that will need to be considered. These include the fact that many commonage habitats have been significantly damaged by under-grazing, with resulting problems that must be ...More Button

Was asked: the protections available for farmers whose commonages areas are being trespassed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Decisions affecting privately owned land are a matter for the individual owners or commonage shareholders to resolve with any person, who may be trespassing on their land. My Department has no role...More Button

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Was asked: when payment of the agri-environment options scheme will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the 2011 Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 September 2011 and has received full payment totalling €840.57 in respect of 2011.More Button

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check of all applications, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identific...More Button

Ministerial Transport

Was asked: the full cost of ministerial transport and the breakdown of this cost between salaries, mileage allowance and other travel costs for Ministers and Ministers of State in his Department for 2012; and...More Button

The amount spent by my Department on transport for the Minister of State and myself for the year 2012 is set out in the table below.

More Button






 

 

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