The Department of Agriculture has been criticised by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) animal health and welfare chair Hugh Farrell.

The association chair said that the Department didn’t hold a meeting with all stakeholders to address outstanding pricing issues within the Fallen Animal Scheme. He said the ICSA is “deeply unsatisfied”.

“Consultation with farming organisations was kept to an absolute minimum and, as a result, farmers will ultimately face higher costs when disposing of dead animals,” he said.

Financial impact

Commenting on the new maximum pricing structure, he said: “A cost that was always too high will now potentially be even higher and farmers are expected to just accept it.

"The financial impact of losing an animal is significant and to impose further significant cost on top of that to have an animal removed is neither fair nor just.”

He called for additional supports for farmers to alleviate the costs associated with losing an animal.

“[The] ICSA believes the €54 cap on the disposal of cattle over 48 months should be used as a guide in this process, and all other price caps should be set at below this level,” he said.

“[The] ICSA is also urging the knackeries not to use the price caps in the scheme as a target price, as they are not indicative of the market rate, given the additional funding they will now receive from the Department of Agriculture.”

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