Farmers with fallen stock have been “left in limbo” because of the closure of knackeries around the country, according to the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA).

Colm O’Donnell, the association’s president, said that an “immediate resolution” was needed in what he said was a “stressful situation” for farmers.

“Farmers with fallen stock are left in limbo, dealing with the sight and stench of decomposing animals, and desperately need a resolution to deal with the problem,” said O’Donnell.

If a resolution with the knackeries can’t be achieved today, Friday, September 13, then farmers need to be allowed to bury the stock with guidelines and support on this provided by the local district veterinary office.

“This decision needs to be taken today as failure to act on this will leave the moving of fallen animals difficult if not impossible, only adding to an already stressful situation,” added the INHFA president.

He went on: “The current situation with the knackeries should have been addressed a long time ago and not let develop to a point where farmers are left dealing with decomposing bodies and unable to act.”

O’Donnell called for an “immediate deal that should not add any costs on to farmers”.

Collapse of talks

The knackeries closed most recently on Tuesday, September 10, following a breakdown of talks between representatives of the Animal Collectors Association (ACA) 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 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,” said Mc Keever.