Video: ‘It’s an outrageous act for our army to be used to shoot five cattle’

It’s an outrageous act for our army to be used to shoot five cattle and it shouldn’t be tolerated, according to Kerry Independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae.

Healy-Rae was speaking in the Dail following the shooting dead of five heifers on a Co. Monaghan farm after receivers were appointed to seize the assets of the farmer that owned them.

“Minister, you remember during the preparations for the Programme for Government that debt resolution was given important attention but where does that leave us with the outrageous action where army marksmen shot five cattle belonging to a Monaghan farmer in recent days?

“I think it was outrageous and I say to the Official Assignee in the bankrupt case [that] I think it’s absolutely an outrageous act for our army to be used to shoot five cattle.

“The people that were involved who ordered the people to pull the trigger, they’re a disgrace, not the people who shot the gun but the people who give the order.

“Shame on them. Absolute shame on them from this house, it was a disgraceful despicable act,” he said.

The Official Assignee appointed to the case has cited ‘security issues’ as the reason behind the shooting of five animals on the farm.

Chris Lehane, whose duty it is to recover value from assets of bankruptcy estates, said it is clearly not in his ‘interests to kill cattle’.

Nor would I do it, without firstly having exhausted every other possible avenue open to me to resolve the problem.

Lehane made the comments in response to what he described as ‘inaccurate information’ posted on social media in relation to the culling of the cattle.

He said over many weeks as part of fulfilling his statutory role he the visited the farm in question and carried out extensive TB testing in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture.

“The results of those tests proved positive in the herd, greatly restricting what I could do with the animals.

“I have tried to take all the cattle off the farm with experienced cattle assistants, sometimes successfully, sometimes not successfully; as the cattle were in large fields and were wild and dangerous.

“Gates were repeatedly opened involving cutting of chains, leaving these cattle wandering over the roads endangering the local community, road users and the cattle.”

Lehane confirmed the cull was carried out by ‘trained members of the Defence Forces’ and he said it was done so in a ‘controlled environment’.