‘Minister must ensure fallen animals are collected’ – IFA

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed is being called on to ensure that fallen animals are collected from farms, following a decision from the Animal Collectors’ Association (ACA) to cease animal collection from next Wednesday, February 26.

Pat Farrell, the animal health chairperson for the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), called on the minister to prevent a situation that would see fallen animals not being collected.

Farrell highlighted what he called “the weaknesses with the current fallen animal collection service”.

The department of agriculture is legislatively bound to ensure an efficient and competitive infrastructure is available to all farmers.

“The current infrastructure, through the licenced knackeries, is failing to deliver this service,” Farrell claimed.

“Since 2013, farmers have been exposed to continuous and unacceptable price increases and, in some cases, knackeries refusing to collect certain animals,” the IFA animal health chairperson said.

He continued: “The Department of Agriculture must provide all farmers with a guaranteed collection service, significantly below the exorbitant and unacceptable fees currently charged by some knackeries. These fees have increased again in the past number of weeks.

The department must move as a matter of urgency to reduce costs for farmers and to ensure no fallen animals are left on farms.

Confirming the ACA’s decisions to AgriLand, a spokesperson for the association 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”.

“We understand that farmers are under severe time pressure at this time of the year and we do not want to inflict any further hardship on the them,” the group said in a statement.