Confidential information received about illegal sheep smuggling - Minister
The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has confirmed that he is aware of a recent report of alleged illegal movement of sheep into the Republic of Ireland.
The Department of Agriculture confirmed that confidential information was received regarding possible breaches of intra-community sheep movement requirements.
It said this information is being examined at present and therefore it is not appropriate to make any further comment at this time lest any investigation be compromised.
Minister Creed said the health of the national sheep flock relies on the observance of identification and trade rules.
“Sheep smuggling results in the breach of these rules and could pose disease risks for the national sheep flock.
“Reports of illegal movement of sheep are examined by staff in my Department. Where evidence of a breach of identification or trade requirements is established, such cases may be prosecuted, provided the evidence is considered sufficient to sustain a conviction.
“My Department works closely with An Garda Síochána and with the corresponding authorities in Northern Ireland in an effort to combat farm-animal related crime.
“Should evidence of illegal movement of sheep into the country be substantiated, every effort will be made to have the matter prosecuted,” he said.