Farmers are being urged to replace older slats in cattle sheds with funding from the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), due to the potential safety risks associated with slats that have been in place for long periods of time.

Tim Farrell, the rural development chairperson with the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) said that farmers might not be aware that grants for this purpose can be applied for.

“Many cattle farmers are unaware that grants for replacing slats are available through TAMS,” he noted.

However, it is possible to apply for such grants under the ‘Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage’ part of the scheme.

“Farmers often underestimate the level of wear and tear that can accrue on slates,” Farrell highlighted.

He warned that this can go unnoticed by farmers unless the slates are lifted.

Often the seriousness of the damage is not uncovered until the slats are actually lifted, revealing the true level of decay.

“It is a really important safety issue and any farmer who believes their slats may be passed their best should consider replacing them as a matter of urgency,” he added.

Farrell pointed out that farmers can apply for funding for this purpose under the current TAMS tranche (tranche 21) until April 16.