Knackeries strike ‘risks serious public health issues’ – Fianna Fáil

Minister Michael Creed is being called on to intervene in the ongoing knackeries strike to “protect public health”.

Charlie McConalogue, the party’s spokesperson on agriculture, food and the marine, urged the minister to meet with representatives of the Animal Collectors Association (ACA).

“A little under 40 of the country’s knackeries have been on an indefinite strike since Tuesday. The minister cannot allow this strike to go on for much longer, otherwise we risk serious public health issues,” said the Co. Donegal TD.

If a farmer has an animal who has died, right now there is no way of disposing of the animal. The farmer cannot bury the animal, so it effectively has to stay on the farm until it can be disposed of properly. Ordinarily these services would be provided by knackeries.

“Most of these are small family-run businesses who have been struggling for a number of years now,” added McConalogue.

He commented that “the minister appears to be losing control of the entire farming sector”.

“He needs to meet with ACA representatives; provide additional supports to ensure the viability of the industry; review the fallen animal scheme; and work toward ending this strike,” concluded McConalogue.

The ACA announced yesterday, Tuesday, September 11, that the knackeries concerned would close until further notice, following the collapse of talks between the group and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Speaking to AgriLand, chairman of the ACA Michael Mc Keever said: “At the moment we’re not too sure how long the closure will be for. We’ll just have to see how things pan out in the next day or two.

“We have been in financial trouble for the last number of years; there have been some representations made to the department on it and we just seem to be getting pushed down the line the whole time,” Mc Keever added.