The Government has been called on to provide a compensation package for poultry farmers affected by recent outbreaks of bird flu.
A number of flocks in Co Monaghan have been affected by low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) of the subtype H6N1.
At the start of the month, the strain was confirmed on nine farms with another suspected case on another farm.
The farms have been forced to cull birds as a result of the outbreak. However, there is no compensation for such action as it is considered a commercial decision.
Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has called for the farmers affected to be compensated. He has written to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed asking that a package be put in place.
The issue was also raised by Carthy in the Dáil last week: “On Thursday last, I asked the Minister to give me a yes or no answer as to whether he will consider providing a compensation scheme to those poultry farmers who have experienced culls as a result of bird flu outbreaks.
“Unfortunately, the Minister did not respond and has yet to comment on this issue, which has caused huge hardship to some poultry farmers.
“These are farmers who have suffered devastating losses due to an occurrence that they cannot insure against. In the absence of an insurance scheme, the Government needs to provide compensation to those affected."
Carthy said he would pursue the issue until a fair package was put in place for those affected.
Where flocks are affected by LPAI H6N1, the clinical signs include a significant drop in egg production in layers, a reduced feed intake and a slight increase in mortality.
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