Knackeries: Animal collection halt will go ahead…with ‘full closure’ in coming days
The Animal Collectors’ Association (ACA), which represents the country’s knackeries, will continue with its action to halt fallen animal collection services from tomorrow, Wednesday, February 26 – and has warned that full closure of services will come into effect in a few days.
A spokesperson for the association also said that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine had not contacted the organisation prior to announcing its amendment to the Fallen Animal Scheme for Fallen Farm Stock at 5:20pm this evening.
“The ACA or knackeries have not seen this scheme yet; they have only been told of its content from the media.
“It is very unprofessional of the department to notify the media of details of the scheme before the ACA were issued with details.
This is the same unprofessional behaviour we have been dealing with for months.
“The department obviously does not recognise the importance of the knackery industry,” the representative said.
‘Already turned down’
The ACA spokesperson said that the scheme announced had already been turned down by the knackery representative organisation.
The closure is going ahead until this is signed, sealed and delivered because they ran rings around us the last time – they made commitments and they haven’t followed through on any of them.
We will be staying out until this is sorted. And it’s actually going to go to full closure after a few days. The knackeries can’t put up with this any longer.
“The civil servant mileage rates are actually higher than what it’s costing us to drive around in a lorry.”
The representative highlighted that “it doesn’t stack up” to pay to keep a lorry on the road, process the animal with the necessary inspections and draw it to rendering plants – and pay for it too.
“It’s just not stacking up; what we looked for originally was the re-implementation of the old scheme but it’s further and further away that’s going.
‘Farmers in full support’
“The strike is going ahead and it will go to full closure after a few days. I do know that the farmers are in full support of us, in fairness to them.
Every farmer that’s been coming in here in the last few days has been in full support. They appreciate the service and they realise the importance of it – but the department obviously doesn’t.
The spokesperson reiterated the ACA’s stance that it does not wish to “punish farmers and charge what we need to make it viable to stay in business – that’s why we’re going down this route”.