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Minister announces ban on Electro Immobilisation

The Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced that she has decided to introduce legislation to ban the use of electro immobilisation on live farm animals. The Minister stated that she intended to introduce Regulations which would provide for such a ban with effect from 1 June 2007.

Minister Coughlan said that the Scientific Advisory Committee on Animal Health and Welfare had examined all aspects of this issue and had recommended that the practice should be prohibited. Organisations representing the various interested parties had also submitted their views on the recommendation. Having considered all of the views received, she had decided to accept the recommendation of the Advisory Committee to prohibit the use of electro immobilisation on live farm animals. While fully conscious of possible risks to operators in handling large animals, the Minister felt that the continued use of electro immobilisation could not be justified on animal welfare grounds.

The Minister said that it was, however, appropriate to allow a reasonable period of time before giving effect to the ban. She was aware that there may be numbers of animals on farms at present that require interventions and which are of an age and size which could cause risk to operators. The interval between now and 1 June 2007 should allow adequate time for those animals to be dealt with. Continuing, Minister Coughlan said that her Department would undertake an information campaign to promote early intervention in relation to the dehorning, disbudding etc. of animals. It was also proposed to circulate information on these matters to the persons most directly involved i.e. farmers and veterinarians.

Concluding, Minister Coughlan thanked the Advisory Committee for the detailed work on the subject and also the organisations which had taken part in the consultation process.

13 April 2006

Date Released: 13 April 2006