1. Proposals Examined
The Joint Committee has completed its consideration of the following proposals of the Commission:-
(a) Proposed Council Decision concluding the European Convention on the Protection of Farm Animals (R/1102/76).
(b) Proposed Council Directive concerning surveys of pig production to be made by Member States (R/1110/76).
The Joint Committee understands that action by the Council on these proposals is likely in the near future.
B. PROTECTION OF FARM ANIMALS
2. European Convention
A European Convention for the Protection of Farm Animals drawn up under the auspices of the Council of Europe has been open for signature and ratification since 8th March, 1976. This Convention is aimed at protecting animals kept for farming purposes particularly in modern intensive stock-farming systems. It sets out basic rules concerning housing, food, lighting, temperature, ventilation, etc. and requires daily inspection of animals and technical equipment. The establishment of a Standing Committee is envisaged to which each contracting party would have a right to appoint a representative. The Standing Committee would be responsible for making recommendations on the implementation of the Convention, for monitoring developments in scientific research and new methods in animal husbandry, for effecting friendly settlements between the contracting parties and for expressing advisory opinions at the request of a contracting party.
There is already some Community legislation which impinges on the substance of the Convention but the Commission considers that a more complete harmonisation is required. To that end, Community accession is considered by it as desirable. In the event of its accession, the Community would be represented on the Standing Committee by the Commission.
The Convention has not yet been signed by Ireland.
3. Joint Committee’s Examination of Proposal
The Joint Committee understands from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries that no objection is seen to the substance of the Convention as far as this country is concerned.
The Joint Committee consulted the Irish Farmers’ Association and was informed that the Association has no objections to the Convention.
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has informed the Joint Committee that in its opinion the Convention “is most satisfactory so far as it goes”. In its view “much will depend on the composition of the Standing Committee”.
The Joint Committee wishes to record its appreciation of the assistance it received from the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in examining this matter.
C. SURVEYS OF PIG PRODUCTION
5. Proposed Directive
Arising from obligations imposed by the Treaty and by Council Regulation No. 2759/75, which concerns the common organisation of the market in pigmeat, the Commission requires precise information in respect of each Member State concerning its pig population and pigmeat production together with short-term forecasts of market supplies of pigmeat. For this purpose surveys are required to be made simultaneously in the Member States covering similar categories and to be supplemented by forecasts for identical periods. The proposed Directive provides for periodic surveys of pig population by defined categories (in certain circumstances, surveys may be carried out by random sampling), for a break-down of results by weight categories and for statistics on slaughterings. Reports on the results of the surveys and forecasts will be provided by the Commission in due course.
6. Implications for Ireland
The Joint Committee understands from the Central Statistics Office that the proposed Directive would for the most part merely consolidate existing Directives and Decisions which are already being applied in this country.
(Signed) CHARLES J. HAUGHEY,
Chairman of the Joint Committee.
30th June, 1976.