Knackery disruption ‘last thing farmers need’ – ICSA

The coming disruption to knackery services is “the last thing farmers need”, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Hugh Farrell, the association’s animal health and welfare chairperson, was speaking following the announcement from the Animal Collectors’ Association (ACA) that collection services are to be halted from next Wednesday, February 26.

“It is very worrying that negotiations between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the ACA on a new Fallen Animal Scheme have come to this impasse,” Farrell commented.

The Department of Agriculture has dragged its heels and once again farmers will be the losers.

“During talks, the priority for ICSA has always been the protection of a nationwide knackery service and for that service to be available to farmers at a reasonable price,” he added.

Farrell stressed: “Nobody wants to see a repeat of the situation we had last autumn when over 3,000 fallen animals were left uncollected on farms for an extended time due to a previous stoppage.

The Department of Agriculture needs to recognise the urgency of the situation and respond in a constructive manner for this issue to be resolved.

“There are ways to move this dispute forward and it has to be done sooner rather than later,” Farrell concluded.

The ACA confirmed that no lorries from Irish knackeries will operate collection services to remove dead animals from farms from next Wednesday.

Confirming the news to AgriLand, a spokesperson for the ACA said that, while knackeries “will still be open initially” for the delivery of animals, there won’t be any animals being collected from farmers’ yards.

The move, announced today, Thursday, February 20, comes following a unanimous decision by ACA members at the group’s emergency meeting held last Sunday, February 16.

The members balloted for the cessation of fallen animal collections from next Wednesday “as it is not financially viable to continue this service”.