‘Cattle shot on Monaghan farm due to security issues’

The Official Assignee, appointed to recover value from assets following the bankruptcy of a Co. Monaghan farmer, has cited ‘security issues’ as the reason behind the shooting of five animals on the farm.

Chris Lehane, whose duty it is to recover value from assets of bankruptcy estates, said it is clearly not in his ‘interests to kill cattle’.

“Nor would I do it, without firstly having exhausted every other possible avenue open to me to resolve the problem.”

Lehane made the comments in response to what he described as ‘inaccurate information’ posted on social media in relation to the culling of the cattle.

He said over many weeks as part of fulfilling his statutory role he the visited the farm in question and 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.

“I have tried to take all the cattle off the farm with experienced cattle assistants, sometimes successfully, sometimes not successfully; as the cattle were in large fields and were wild and dangerous.

“Gates were repeatedly opened involving cutting of chains, leaving these 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.”

According to Lehane, 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 made by him following consultation with and approval of, the Department of Agricultural Officials; with whom he said he has been ‘working closely with’ at all times over many weeks and with cooperation of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces to carry out the cull.

Lehane confirmed the cull was carried out by ‘trained members of the Defence Forces’ and he said it was done so in a ‘controlled environment’.