Animals turned away from factories as veterinary dispute continues

Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the country’s representative body for the meat processing industry, has said that some animals are being turned away from factories as a result of industrial action by Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs).

According to MII, the dispute between Veterinary Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has resulted in an increase in “disruption” in the second half of December.

Animal deliveries have had to be turned back or cancelled, impacting on farmers as well. Disruption to normal pig processing will very quickly lead to welfare issues at farm level.

MII claims that it is “caught in the middle” of the dispute, which centered on what the TVIs say is a shortage in manpower to carry out inspection duties on factory floors.

This has resulted in a “serious intensification” of disruptive activity in the second half of December, which MII calls “unacceptable”.

According to MII, some of the plants affected by the action are facing “major disruption”, which, it says, will lead to “significant losses”.

The group is calling on both sides – Veterinary Ireland and the department – to end the dispute.

“Plants have been unable to undertake scheduled processing activity and others are forced to operate at restricted levels compared to normal throughout,” claimed MII in a statement.

Its statement continued: “This unacceptable disruptive activity also left consumers short during what is already a challenging time of the year for scheduling fresh deliveries.”

Concluding, MII said that a “responsible approach” was needed to end the dispute.