Two more weather warnings have been put in place by Met Eireann; a status yellow rainfall warning and a yellow wind warning.

The yellow rainfall warning is in place for Connacht, Donegal, Clare and Kerry.

According to Met Eireann, 20 to 35mm of additional rain is expected today (Wednesday) in these areas.

The rainfall warning is in place until midnight tonight (Wednesday), Met Eireann has said.

Met Eireann has also issued a yellow wind warning for the country. South to southwest winds will reach mean speeds greater than 45km/h and up to 65km/h, it said.

Met Eireann also said that gusts up to 100km/h are possible during Wednesday. The wind warning is in place until 11.00pm tonight.

After intense rainfall over the weekend because of Storm Desmond, the River Shannon is ready to burst its banks and those in affected areas are already struggling with the current flood waters.

In response to the difficulties farmers are facing as a result of flooding, the Department of Agriculture has put in place several measures to aid farmers.

The Department advises farmers to be extra vigilant if you have to go into water logged/flooded fields as there are hidden risks.

Do not attempt to rescue stranded animals yourself and it also advises not to go into flooded land if you can avoid it.

If you do have to go into flooded land, ensure that you tell someone where you are going, it advises.

In the event of severe flooding of farmland the following arrangements may be put in place for the movement of animals:

Farmland affected by flooding

  • In general, there is no restriction on the movement of cattle within the same holding, including onto parcels within the same holding.
  • The movement of animals that are ‘in test’ from herds which are not restricted due to TB can be effected relatively easily on the basis of a Compliance Certificate which can obtained from the DVO, the local mart, the herd PVP (if registered to do so) or printed out by the herd owner themselves.
  • In the case of ‘out of test’ animals or herds which are restricted due to TB, the movement of such animals or cattle out of these herds is prohibited except where they are going direct to slaughter.
  • Exceptions to the above rules can be made where the welfare or lives of animals is threatened. Every effort must be made to prevent, if possible, and if not to limit the exposure of such animals to other TB susceptible animals.
  • In the case of non-restricted herds, where the animals are at risk, the herd owner should move the animals to higher ground on his/her own farm if this is possible.
  • If this is not possible and the herd owner is unable to get a compliance cert from the DVO or print one out himself/herself, the animals may be moved out of the holding.

Slurry Tanks affected by flooding

In the event of flooding of slurry tanks the following emergency measures may be put in place:

  • In emergency cases farmers will be permitted to pump some water out of flooded tanks but only for animal welfare reasons. This concession will apply only in those areas that have been severely affected by flooding.
  • Tanks should not be agitated before pumping. Use a sludge pump if possible rather than a vacuum tanker.
  • The suction pipe should be inserted almost to the bottom of the slurry tank so that solids are not removed.
  • Pump out no more than is necessary to alleviate the immediate animal welfare problem.
  • If water is already above the level of the central passageway or the apron, then there is no point in pumping at all because water will continue to flow into the tank.
  • In these cases, animals will have to be removed from the sheds.
  • The water should not be discharged directly to a watercourse but onto the driest field available.

The Department has also set up an animal welfare helpline.

It advises that for other animal welfare issues connected with severe weather please keep in touch with your Teagasc adviser or contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Animal Welfare Helpline on:

Call Save: 0761 064408

Phone: 01 6072379