Members of the public urged not to enter farms for ‘leisure activities’

Members of the public are being urged not to enter farms for “leisure activities” such as walking or hunting.

Tim Cullinan, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), called on the public to be particularly conscious of biosecurity on farms in light of the escalating situation around coronavirus (Covid-19).

“Farms are a vital part of the food distribution system. We need the highest level of biosecurity measures in place. Farmers will have their own biosecurity measures to facilitate the collection of their produce, and to receive deliveries of feed and care for their animals,” Cullinan commented.

I am asking members of the public not to call to farms. Those who have business on farms should call strictly by appointment only. Members of the public should avoid entering farms for leisure activities such as walking, shooting or hunting.

“It is absolutely vital that we keep our food supply chain moving. Many farms will be in trouble if the farmer falls ill or if people involved in processing or transporting produce or supplies become ill or have to self-isolate,” the IFA president stressed.

He added: “At this time, we simply cannot be careful enough. Irish farmers not only feed over four million people here, but we provide raw materials that feed over 30 million in other countries.”

Concluding his remarks, Cullinan highlighted: “It is critical that the Irish, European and global food supply chains remain in operation to ensure that people can continue to have access to proper nutrition in order to maintain a balanced diet.”