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Minister bans the use of Electro Immobilisation on farm animals

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., confirmed today that she had adopted legislation banning the use of electro immobilisation on farm animals with effect from 1 September 2007.

Minister Coughlan said that following examination by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Animal Health and Welfare, there was broad agreement that the practice should be prohibited. All interested parties had been consulted on the matter and having considered all views, she had accepted the recommendations of the Scientific Committee to prohibit the use of any electrical equipment or other instrument that applies a sustained electric current or impulse directly to a live animal.

The Minister stated that she had decided to introduce the ban from 1 September rather than from 1 June so as to allow a further period of time for farmers and veterinarians to carry out procedures on animals that are already on farms where interventions may be necessary and where these could otherwise prove difficult.

Concluding, the Minister referred to the need to maintain acceptable animal welfare standards and in that context reiterated the importance of early intervention in carrying out procedures such as disbudding and castration to achieve that. Her Department had already circulated information and advice in relation to this issue and would be issuing further material on it in the near future.

6 June, 2007

Date Released: 06 June 2007