Cattle shot on Monaghan farm after receivers move in

Details are emerging of a incident on a Monaghan farm yesterday where, it is understood that a number of cattle were shot on a farm in Co. Monaghan yesterday (Tuesday) when receivers moved in to take animals from the farm.

It is understood that the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy, Chris Lehane, along with the Criminal Assets Bureau, members of the Gardai, and the army were involved in the operation to remove the cattle from the farm.

Machinery and other assets were removed from the farm in the previous days and the receivers were there yesterday to take the cattle. It is understood that a number of cattle were shot by the army, although this has yet to be confirmed.

The farm in question is just outside Carrickmacross in Monaghan and is understood to have been bought by the current owner approximately 10 years ago.

Pictures, allegedly from the scene show dead heifers on the side of a roadway.

However, the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy, Chris Lehane, has said in a statement that the cattle were only killed after every other possible avenue to resolved the problem was exhausted.

“As Official Assignee I have a duty to recover value from assets of bankruptcy estates and it is clearly not in my interests to kill cattle, nor would I do it, without firstly having exhausted every other possible avenue
open to me to resolve the problem.”

He said that over many weeks as part of fulfilling his statutory role he visited the farm in question and have carried out extensive TB testing in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture.

“The results of those tests proved positive in the herd, greatly restricting what I could do with the animals.”

The statement goes on to say that he tried to take all the cattle off the farm with experienced cattle assistants, some times successfully, some times not successfully; as the cattle were in large fields and were wild and dangerous.

However, he said that gates were repeatedly opened involving cutting of chains, leaving the cattle wandering over the roads endangering the local community, road users and the cattle.

“Myself and my staff on receiving Garda reports of wandering cattle repeatedly at night and early morning had to travel to Monaghan round up the cattle and secure the field. With theft of 15 cattle, removal of the remaining 5 cattle was not possible due to security issues over persons involved in previous removals, of which An Garda Síochána are aware.”

Lehane said that it was in the interests of the cattle, public safety of the local community and to prevent the spread of TB in local livestock, the decision was very reluctantly made by him following consultation with and approval of, the Department of Agricultural Officials and with cooperation of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces to carry out the cull.

“It was carried out by trained members of the Defence Forces in a controlled environment.”