Dáil Éireann - Volume 387 - 01 March, 1989

Written Answers. - Pigs Slaughtering.

36. Mr. Gibbons asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food, whether he is aware that for veterinary inspection for slaughtered pigs, his Department charge a fee of 75p per pig while in Northern Ireland the corresponding fee is 17p sterling per pig; and the steps he proposes to take to remove this unfair competition against pig producers from the Republic of Ireland on pig meat imports from Northern Ireland.

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. O'Kennedy): It is both Government and EC policy that veterinary inspection fees should represent the realistic cost of providing the inspection service. In June 1988, an EC Council Decision was adopted aimed at harmonising fee levels. The decision stipulates a standard inspection fee of over IR£1 per pig with effect from the end of 1990.

In the circumstances the fee of 75p, which has remained unchanged since July 1987 and which represents about 1 per [1983] cent of the average producer price per pig, is considered fair and reasonable.