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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Haulage of Livestock.

Thursday, 15 December 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 226 No. 5

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Mr. Sheridan: Information on Joseph M. Sheridan Zoom on Joseph M. Sheridan asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he is aware of the serious position due to the inadequate transport of livestock from fairs and marts by CIE; that CIE cater for only an approximate six per cent of the livestock trade; and that the trade has experienced the inadequacy of CIE for the past three years; and if he will now consider lifting restrictions and giving complete freedom in road haulage to private hauliers.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor In reply to a Question [598] on 24th May, 1966 by the Deputy about transport facilities for livestock, I explained that the question of the facilities available for long distance haulage of livestock from fairs and marts was being examined by my Department, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. This examination has now concluded and it has shown a need for greater flexibility of haulage facilities for livestock from fairs, marts and farms in certain areas, more specifically the counties of Roscommon, Westmeath and Longford. To meet the situation, I have agreed following consultation with the Licensed Road Transport Association to extend the areas of operation of a number of licensed hauliers in the area and in the adjoining counties of Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim, whose areas of operation were previously restricted in varying degrees, to authorise them to haul livestock from the three counties in question to any part of the State.

In addition, to cater for the transport of any uncleared odd or final lots of livestock from the principal fairs and sales C.I.E. have agreed to implement a scheme whereby its inspectors will be empowered to issue on the spot written authorisations to any licensed haulier or other lorry owner available, to undertake the haulage of the livestock.

As regard short distance local haulage of livestock to and from fairs and marts. I previously indicated in reply to the same Question that, in addition to the existing concession under transport law under which farmers may carry livestock for reward by tractor and trailer for their neighbours, subject to certain mileage limitations, to and from fairs and marts, arrangements have been made by CIE, in consultation with mart authorities and licensed hauliers, to “plate” supplementary vehicles for this traffic where the need for this has been established. These arrangements have been working satisfactorily.

In the circumstances, I do not propose to introduce legislation to decontrol the haulage of livestock.

Mr. Sheridan: Information on Joseph M. Sheridan Zoom on Joseph M. Sheridan Is the Parliamentary [599] Secretary aware that over the past three years all parties interested and concerned in road haulage of livestock have been furnished with details with regard to the inadequacy of the service provided by CIE and, further arising out of the Parliamentary Secretary's reply, is he aware that the licensed road hauliers have no interest in the haulage of livestock? On 3rd November of this year, a prominent exporter wanted five lorries at Kells to bring cattle to Dublin. He spoke to the CIE representative and said that he was prepared to wait for five hours but he was not allowed to employ lorries other than those of CIE. Is the Parliamentary Secretary further aware that cattle transported by CIE are hardly ever in time for shipment? I have a list here of places which are never serviced by CIE and I will pass it on to the Parliamentary Secretary.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor I am not aware of a number of things the Deputy has said. I am aware that the Licensed Hauliers Association have an interest in this matter. We propose extending licences in the areas mentioned and already 12 of those hauliers have indicated their anxiety to get such licences. I do not accept that CIE do not provide adequate facilities to get cattle to meet shipment times. The Deputy has mentioned a case in Kells and it would be fairer if he would send the particulars of that case to the Minister.

Mr. Sheridan: Information on Joseph M. Sheridan Zoom on Joseph M. Sheridan The cattle were waiting for five hours. This is a far more important matter to the cattle trade generally than the much talked of meat board. CIE are carrying only six per cent of the trade.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor I accept that it is very important.

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