An immediate intervention by the State is needed to ensure that knackeries struggling with rising diesel and labour costs can continue to supply fallen animal collection services required by EU animal byproduct regulations, the Animal Collectors Association (ACA) has said.

Under the Fallen Animal Scheme for TSE testing and fallen farm stock, maximum collection rates and the State’s contribution to knackeries are set out by the Department of Agriculture, with these rates remaining unchanged in over a decade, according to the ACA.

This is despite requests by the group to have the Department’s funding increased to reflect the higher costs of running knackeries during meetings held with Department officials six months ago, the group said.

“The ACA requested funding from the Department to ensure fallen animal collection services could continue.

“The Department has to-date failed to fulfil commitments which it made during these talks,” a spokesperson from the group told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“Fuel costs are also crippling members of the ACA. Unlike other hauliers, members of the ACA cannot avail of the Diesel Rebate Scheme to aid with exorbitant diesel prices,” the spokesperson added.