Collection of dead farm animals resumes but farmers say issues remain to be resolved

The collection of dead animals from farms has resumed.

Knackeries had decided not to collect the animals in a ongoing dispute with the Department of Agriculture over the lack of progress on a fallen animal scheme.

The IFA says the resumption of collections is now a huge relief to farmers who, it claims, were used as pawns by the knackeries.

Reacting to the Fallen Animal Collection Scheme announced by the Department of Agriculture, IFA Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell says the scheme does not address any of the key issues for farmers.

He said it had protected the interest of the three rendering plants and licensed knackeries at the expense of farmers.

He added that the scheme also fails to reduce the costs of disposal for farmers, and that its voluntary nature fails to provide a guaranteed collection service for all farmers.

He claims the department is providing knackeries with a direct subvention toward rendering costs and have established maximum collection fees that knackeries are allowed to charge farmers for various categories of animals.

He says these maximum collection fees are grossly out of line with the cost of rendering, and leaves farmers exposed to higher disposal costs in the absence of competition between knackeries.

Mr Farrell says it’s critical that farmers are aware these are maximum fees and not the going rate for collection of fallen animals.

The IFA is now calling on the department to have a full review of the disposal of fallen animals so as to come up with the most cost-effective means to have them removed from farms.

It is insisting a reduction in collection charges and a guarantee of collection are the two key objectives that must be achieved.