Athlone based Senator, Gabrielle McFadden has welcomed the news that the Regional Veterinary Laboratory in Coosan is to be expanded.
“This is great news. Two years ago we were afraid that this lab might be shut, but the Minister and the Department have listened to the arguments in favour of Athlone as a future hub for development of the Veterinary Laboratory service.
“Minister Creed, as part of Project Ireland 2040, has today launched a Plan for the Development of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Regional Laboratories, announcing an estimated capital investment of €33.5 million in rebuilding the Laboratory Network over the next ten years.”
“Along with significant capital investments in Athlone, the Department will invest in teams of people with the skills and expertise needed to provide a world class diagnostic service, developing centres of excellence in the investigation of and surveillance for diseases in farmed animals,” Senator McFadden remarked.
Noting that she had been lobbying on this particular matter for some time within the Oireachtas, Senator McFadden expressed immense satisfaction that a positive outcome has now been reached.
“I have been lobbying on this matter in the Oireachtas and with my party colleague, Minister Creed and I am glad to hear that the outcome has been positive for the Athlone Laboratory.
“Central to maintaining rural communities is the sustainable development of a competitive farming and consumer focused agri-food business, which contributes to a vibrant rural economy and society. The Laboratory in Coosan and its staff are of the highest standard and are well placed to provide a professional service to the Midlands and further afield and this announcement is a very positive one for them”.
“The lab in Coosan provides a hugely valuable service to the farming community of the Midlands such as determining the causes of livestock deaths and monitoring the potential spread of infectious diseases. This is of value not only to farmers, but to the population at large. Protecting the safety of Irish food and the interests of consumers is at the core of agri-food industry in Ireland,” Senator McFadden concluded.