New laws to restrict the transport of dead animals will see farmers in East Galway prevented from taking haulage to Foyle Proteins in County Derry.
“A further erosion of services to rural Ireland,” is how Sinn Féin county councillor Dermot Connolly has described the effects of the Department of Agriculture’s Fallen Animal TSE Subsidy Scheme.
Under Clause 7.8 of the new law, the distance that animal carcasses can be brought from the “intermediate plant [knackery] to rendering plant shall not exceed 125km radius” unless permission is granted by the Department.
According to Cllr Connolly, two out of the three rendering plants in the State have increased their prices, so the option of going to Foyle Proteins is “no longer an option for many knackeries in Connacht”.
Despite this, “there are two knackeries that are still allowed to go to the North which makes the playing field unlevel.” Cllr Connolly added that those knackeries which are tied to the rendering plants in the Republic have “no option but to put up their charges which results in a higher price to be paid by the farmer”.
Cllr Connolly acknowledged that the Department’s decision was “made with all good intent” to safeguard against the potential spread of animal disease, but “the actual result is another hit on the farmers and the rural economy”.
The Ballinasloe based councillor is now calling on the Department to take “a more proactive direction” by advancing an all-Ireland approach to agriculture. His motion to the Galway County Council on the same issue was unanimously passed by elected members at the recent meeting.