Staffing issues in the Department of Agriculture’s regional veterinary office in Raphoe, Co Donegal, are starting to cause livestock export licence and TB concerns, the Irish Farmers Journal has learned.
Minister for Agriculture and TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has admitted that there are currently five vacancies in the Donegal DVO and his department is actively working to address it.
However, the Irish Farmers Journal understands that at least one local mart is experiencing difficulties in regard to export licences for animals going across the border to Northern Ireland and there has been no one officially assigned to the ERAD division, which covers TB issues, for a number of months.
It’s understood a civil service recruitment panel has been in place for some time but no one has yet been selected to fill the vacancies.
The positions need to be filled to ensure farmers aren’t negatively impacted
Sinn Féin TD Pádraig MacLochlainn, who originally questioned the minister on staffing issues, said they could have an impact on farmers and needed to be urgently addressed. “Farmers often have a hard time dealing with paperwork and the last thing they need is a lack of resources in these offices,” MacLochlainn told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“The positions need to be filled to ensure farmers aren’t negatively impacted. It’s particularly important for a western county with farmers in rural areas.”
He expressed concern that as a rural, western, county the situation in Donegal was being overlooked and said that the potential issues around TB and export licences to get livestock across the border from marts was particularly concerning.