Dáil Éireann - Volume 598 - 02 March, 2005

Written Answers. - Pet Food Imports.

  183. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the volume of pet foods now imported into the country; if she has satisfied herself that European traceability and husbandry requirements have been applied in all cases; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7237/05]

  Mary Coughlan: Under Community rules the importation of animal products which have already been incorporated within pet foods and which are destined for meat eating animals is provided for subject to certain conditions. Data supplied by the Central Statistics Office indicate that the total quantity of pet food imported into this country during 2003 was 42,753 tonnes and for 2004 a total of 31,120 tonnes has been imported for the period up to October.

Importers of pet foods are required to register with my Department and give at least 24 hours notice of intention to import. Pet food originating from an EU source must come from an approved establishment and be accompanied to its destination with a commercial document or a health certificate signed by an official veterinarian of the competent authority of the member state of origin. In the case of importation from third countries it can only be imported under licence. In such cases, it must originate in a country approved by the EU for trade in such products, have been produced in an approved establishment and be accompanied by a health certificate in accordance the provisions of Community legislation.