Department ‘cannot shirk responsibility’ regarding fallen animals

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine “cannot shirk responsibility” regarding the disposal of fallen animals, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

In a statement today, Wednesday, February 26, IFA Animal Health Committee chairman Pat Farrell said the knackery situation is at a critical stage and it requires urgent action by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and his officials.

“Farmers cannot be left without a service. We need Minister Creed to step up and sort out the deadlock that exists,” he said.

The chairman pointed out that the Department of Agriculture is legislatively bound to ensure an efficient and competitive infrastructure is available to all farmers. The current infrastructure, through the licensed knackeries, is failing to deliver this service, he added.

“The scheme announced last night fails to reduce the costs of disposal for farmers and its voluntary nature doesn’t provide a guaranteed collection service for all farmers,” he said.

Farrell said the Department of Agriculture has “protected the interests” of the three rendering plants and licensed knackeries at the expense of farmers.

The chairman outlined two key principles that he said the Department of Agriculture must address: a reduction in collection charges; and guarantee of collection.

“The Department of Agriculture has not addressed these issues. The scheme must be revisited as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Situation

As of today, knackeries across the country have halted the collection of fallen animals from farms nationwide – and will close their doors in the coming days following stalled talks with the department regarding supports for services.

The Animal Collectors’ Association (ACA) yesterday said that the amended scheme announced last night had previously been rejected by the knackeries, adding that the department had not contacted it prior to announcing the measure.

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