Farmers at a broiler conference in Limerick last Thursday were told to be wary of break-ins by animal rights activists on chicken farms across the country.

Aonghus Lane, a vet at St David’s Poultry, said that farmers must have the best welfare standards on their farms at all times.

“We have had a very unfortunate experience with some of our farmers who were broken into. There were people who broke into their farms and basically set up camp inside there. There is absolutely no reason for this.”

Due to the break-ins, Lane warned farmers to keep chicken houses locked at all times.

“In one situation, a farm that we had a break-in on, the shed wasn’t locked. So, the people couldn’t actually be forcibly removed from the premises. They couldn’t even be prosecuted for coming on to the farm,” he added.

Speaking from the floor, pig farmer Shane McAuliffe said these groups are no longer targeting large fur farms.

“Fur is gone now and the next thing that they’re looking at is pigs and poultry. And they’re going to come after our industry very hard,” he said.