To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what discussions he has had with the Minister of Agriculture in the Republic of Ireland about radioactivity in animals following the Chernobyl accident;(2) if, in view of the discovery of radioactivity levels in excess of 600 bq/kg in the Republic of Ireland, he intends to review the import of sheep and sheepmeat from the Republic of Ireland into the United Kingdom;(3) if officials from his Ministry have given any advice and assistance to their opposite numbers in the Irish Department of Agriculture.
[holding answer 14 December 1987]: Routine precautionary monitoring by the authorities in the Republic of Ireland has identified a small number of sheep with readings of radiocaesium above the action level. My officials have had both formal and informal discussions with their opposite numbers in the Republic on this issue and have provided advice on technical and scientific matters. They have been informed of the programme of monitoring of live sheep and carcases instituted by the Irish authorities and have been assured that sheep and sheepmeat shown to be over the action level for radiocaesium will not be permitted to be exported. My officials continue to maintain contacts with the Department of Agriculture in the Republic and will respond to any further requests for advice or assistance.