The Department of Agriculture is to blame for knackeries refusing to collect fallen animals from farms, according to the IFA’s animal health chair TJ Maher.

Maher warned the strike could jeopardise the health of animals remaining on farms, and urged all farmers with fallen animals in need of collection to contact their local Department office to seek advice on having the carcasses removed.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that knackeries have refused to offer fallen animal collection services from Friday, due to a dispute over the Department’s subsidy for their services, which has not increase despite a major hike in rendering costs for specified risk material.

The IFA claimed that it previously met with senior Department officials to call for a complete review of the structures around fallen animal collection and that these were ignored.

This failure to take action “directly contributed” to the collection strike, the association said.

“Farmers have been caught up in 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,” commented Maher.

“The Department of Agriculture has to find a resolution to the current problems immediately, and needs to provide farmers with a collection service.

“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 removed from their farm,” he said.

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