Following the discovery of cattle carcasses in Louth this week, ICSA Ireland has condemned those responsible for the illegal butchering and called for extra resources for gardaí to investigate this incident as well as incidents of cattle theft.
The find in question are reported to contain the bones of six adult cattle and were found by at the entrance to a forest park on Tuesday. Reports suggest that the local authority is treating the find as a case of illegal dumping. But if these cattle were slaughtered outside the chain of registered operators, that would also be a breach of the law as would the sale of the any meat of the carcasses.
The Department of Agriculture has said the incident is a breach of animal bi-product regulations and of serious concern. It is to be kept briefed on the investigations being conducted by the local authority and gardaí.
ICSA’s Connaught Ulster vice-president John Flynn on the issue said: “ICSA condemns this activity in the strongest terms possible and the first priority must be to track down those responsible and ensure that prosecutions are brought sooner rather than later. This is outrageous criminal activity and whoever is involved must face the fullest extent of the law. I would call on anyone with information to contact the gardaí without delay.”
Flynn said concerns arise regarding traceability as a result of the discovery. “If, as the Louth County Vet believes, these animals were butchered with the intention of selling the meat for human consumption, then there are potentially serious traceability issues that need to be thoroughly investigated and addressed by the Department of Agriculture and the Food Safety Authority. The farming community and governing bodies work extremely hard to ensure that Irish meat is safe and traceable for all consumers and any threat to that work cannot be tolerated.”
This incident also highlights the issue of illegal activity in the Border area in particular and ICSA is convinced that the gardaí need better resources to deal with increasing crime, particularly theft, in the counties along the Border.
“Anecdotally, there has been a significant increase in crime in the Border region and livestock theft is part of a bigger picture involving theft of diesel and machinery and other high-value items. It appears that the criminals involved are highly organised and have strong local knowledge and it is clear that the gardaí need far better resources to tackle this,” Flynn concluded.