Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has called on the Minister for Agriculture to enforce stricter guidelines to curb the illegal horse meat trade in Ireland.
As the horsemeat controversy spreads rapidly throughout Europe, Deputy Ó Cuív has called on Minister Coveney to ensure that the food sector in Ireland does not suffer any more damage by taking a lead in directly addressing the problem.
“Every day we see another instance of horse DNA finding its way into the food chain, both here in Ireland and throughout Europe. While I note the fact that Minister Coveney has called on Irish meat processors to carry out their own DNA tests, more needs to be done.
“The regulation of the horse slaughtering business in Ireland needs to be tightened considerably. There are far too many organisations that can issue horse passports, which leaves the system open to abuse. There have been instances where the same passport has been used for multiple horses that were slaughtered, which is a worrying development.
“While this is not just limited to Ireland, there is an opportunity for us to take a lead and demonstrate to the rest of Europe that we have the most stringent guidelines in place to tackle the illegal horse meat trade. Our international standing as a producer of high quality beef is at stake and more must be done to preserve this.
“One central body should be established to administer all horse passports, which would bring more certainty to an industry that is now mired in controversy.”