The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD has announced that his Department has expedited plans to establish a central equine data base on the Animal Identification and Movement [AIM] system which contains data on cattle, sheep and pigs.
Minister Coveney said at the launch, last week: “Facilities are being put in place to receive and record equine animal registration details received from Passport Issuing Organisations. The information on the central equine database will be used by my Department’s veterinary staff to supplement the current checks at slaughterhouses.”
It is expected that there will be data for over 70% of equine animals registered since 1 January 1980 on the database on 7 May. Contacts will continue with the Passport Issuing Organisations that have not provided data with a view to having all the relevant data on the central equine data base at the earliest opportunity.
The Minister also stated that, following his announcement that he would like to see the establishment of a single Passport Issuing Organisation. The EU Commission has announced that it intends to submit proposals to the Agriculture Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to amend existing legislation to facilitate Departments or other State agencies in taking over responsibility for issuing passports. The Department is awaiting these proposals. In the meantime, there will be no change in the status of the PIOs. The Minister said that he intends to work with passport organisations to introduce a new system.
“I have acted swiftly, as I promised to do in the immediate aftermath of the equine DNA issue and will move to the final stage in the establishment of a single Passport Issuing Agency once
EU legislation provides me with the overarching legal base to put this into effect”, said the Minister.