The continued inaction of the Department of Agriculture in not solving the dispute between collectors and renders is beyond unacceptable, IFA animal health chair TJ Maher has said.
He said that it is astounding to think that the Department has paid over €10m in the last three years for animals to be collected, yet this has not guaranteed a service for farmers.
The IFA animal health chair said the Department has knowingly allowed farmers to be used as pawns by knackeries and renderers in their now frequent disputes.
“Farmers are the victims in all of this as a direct result of the Department of Agriculture's failure to address the glaring shortcomings of the system they have presided over for the last number of years,” he said.
The IFA said it met with senior Department officials during the year, highlighted the problems with the system and called for a complete review of the structures in place.
The association said that the Department failed to take any action and refused to implement the maximum fee structure that is a condition of the up to €4m annual subvention they pay to collectors.
This incompetence has directly contributed to this issue now on farms where farmers are unable to have fallen animals collected, the IFA added.
“The only legal means of disposal of fallen animals is through a service which the Department of Agriculture has failed to maintain. This is causing huge problems and jeopardising the health and welfare of the remaining animals.
“The Department of Agriculture is negligent in their responsibilities in this area and has offered no advice or alternative solutions for farmers to have their animals disposed of. The Minister cannot allow this debacle to continue.
“Farmers with fallen animals to be collected should contact their local Department office and seek direction from them on how they can have the animal legally disposed of from their farm,” he said.