The new chemical which is coming on the market to replace creosote and treat timber is not there in the quantity that is required to fulfil the demand, James Geoghegan, who imports and distributes creosote fencing materials, has said.

From the end of March, Scanpole, the company that manufactures Geoghegan's creosote fencing materials, will no longer supply him with timber due to the new EU ban on creosote in agriculture.

"The European ban is coming in at the end of March for importing creosote stakes and after that, we basically have no product lined up for the Irish market. From talking to other importers, we are all in the same boat," Geoghegan told the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture on Wednesday 8 March.


Scanpole told Geoghegan last year that it would have an alternative up and running by this stage. However, it now doesn't.

As of April this year, Geoghegan told the committee that he will no longer have stakes to sell and farmers, he said, are simply not going to have enough product.

"We have 46,000 farmers going into ACRES - the first thing they are all going to have to do is do an awful lot of fencing. That's going to be an extra pull on fencing compared with other years.

"As we stand at the moment, co-ops are running out of material, contractors are running out of material and with the demand on fencing this year due to the news ACRES scheme and new TAMS, there's going to be a huge demand on timber.

"It's not going to be there to satisfy the market. Farmers are going to be in big trouble, they're simply not going to have enough product," he said.


There is "absolutely no replacement" for a creosoted timber fence on the market for horses once creosote is banned, Geoghegan said.

"There's a new TAMS grant out now for horse fencing. Horses will literally eat the timber and eat the panelised-type treatments.

"We need to basically get creosote held in production definitely for horse fencing and definitely for cattle and sheep fencing until we have enough product to satisfy the market," he said.

The production plant to treat the timber with the new type of treatment is not up and running yet, he argued.

Tommy Williamson, who owns a farm and landscaping supplies company in Wexford, said that to introduce the ban so abruptly was very unfair.

"There was no notification from the Government whatsoever. To introduce the ban in the middle of a fencing season is just not on," he told the Oireachtas Committee.