Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 613 - Answered on 24th April, 2012

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the fate of the carcasses and manure of the five mink farms at which mink are killed; if his attention has been drawn to the environmental and health risks from disposing of carcasses of mink in landfills when mink are killed using barbiturates and that mink can be carriers of the transmissible encephalopathy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Ref No: 19833/12


The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney) Holders of licences to keep mink are subject to conditions which include compliance with all relevant legislation concerning the environment, animal health and welfare. Licence holders are subject to regular inspection by officials from my Department to establish that they are compliant with those conditions.

Mink carcases are generally disposed of by rendering as animal by products (ABP) at approved Category 1 rendering plants. The animals are killed humanely by gas and not by lethal injection such as barbiturates unless in exceptional circumstances they are put down by a veterinarian.

Land-spread of manure from mink farms does not present a risk with regard to the spread of any serious transmissible diseases thus manure from these farmed animals is treated the same as other manures in that it can be spread on land as fertilizer to increase the nutrient value of the soil.

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy is extremely rare in mink. Isolated outbreaks have been reported in the USA and some Eastern European countries but no case has been reported since 1985.


Demand a ban on fur farming in Ireland. Email Simon Coveney now.

Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01 661 1013 and 021 437 4862

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