Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Food & Horticulture and TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill has called on the Agriculture Minister to raise the issue of farm inspections with the EU in light of the current COVID 19 pandemic.

Deputy Cahill explained, “The latest advice on the Department of Agriculture’s website confirms that it is “committed to ensuring animal related matters such as payment processing, TB testing, animal welfare inspections, animal identification and passport issuing, BVD testing, controls at livestock marts and animal export certification can continue to enable the business of farming to operate”, subject to HSE advice.

“While I appreciate that farm inspections are a very important part of our livestock and food industry, farmers are understandably concerned about opening up their farms.

“I am calling on the Minister to ask the EU to review its inspection criteria in light of the current pandemic. Farmers are playing their part and observing social distancing guidelines and they want to be afforded the same protection.

“Inspections should only be carried out under strict guidelines.

“I intend writing to Minister Creed to ask him to contact EU officials to explore what options could be implemented to ensure best practice on farms over the coming weeks and months”.