Dáil Éireann - Volume 532 - 20 March, 2001

Written Answers. - Potato Imports.

211. Mr. N. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the number of truck or container loads of potatoes that have been imported from the United Kingdom per week since 1 February 2001; the exact tonnage of each of the varieties of Maris Piper from the UK; Kerrs Pinks from Scotland; Roosters from Scotland; and if any of these potatoes have originated from an area that has been identified with a foot and mouth disease outbreak. [7396/01]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): My Department does not have the information sought by the Deputy. Under EU Single Market arrangements no restrictions can be imposed on such trade and [1130] potatoes are not included within the scope of the EU restrictions on foot and mouth disease. However, consignments may only be moved in accordance with phytosanitary requirements laid down in the EU plant health directive. In the context of foot and mouth disease, potatoes may be refused entry if consignments contain excessive amounts of soil.