Knackeries around the country returned to full operational capacity this week, following two weeks of curtailed fallen animal collections and limited BSE testing.

This comes following a two-week strike by rendering plants after they closed their gates late on Friday 1 December following a dispute over price increases. Renderers were not taking in any fallen animals from collectors’ and dead animals were building up on farms and in collectors yards’.

It is understood that, in some cases, knackeries were facing price hikes of 60% from rendering companies, which they were reluctant to pay.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that a monetary agreement was made between the Department of Agriculture and rendering companies. As a result, neither the knackeries nor farmers will have to foot the bill of the reported increased cost of rendering. Credit notes are also expected to be issued by renderers to some knackeries who were charged the higher prices.

A spokesperson from the Animal Collectors Association on Wednesday said that nothing has been put into writing yet, but that it is expected knackeries will receive confirmation in the new year.

A Department of Agriculture spokesperson said that following discussions between the Department and the representative body for the renderers, all three rendering plants were open for all deliveries from Friday 15 December.

“Consequently, burial of fallen animals is not being considered as a disposal option at this time,” the Department added, directing farmers to get in touch with local animal collectors.