The IFA has welcomed the resumption of fallen animal collections
IFA Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell said today’s resumption of Fallen Animal collections from farms is a huge relief to farmers who were unfairly used as pawns by the knackeries in their dispute with the Department of Agriculture.
Reacting to the Fallen Animal Collection Scheme announced by the Department of Agriculture, IFA Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell said the scheme doesn’t address any of the key issues for farmers. It has protected the interests of the three rendering plants and licensed knackeries at the expense of farmers.
“This scheme fails to reduce the costs of disposal for farmers and its voluntary nature fails to provide a guaranteed collection service for all farmers,” he said.
Pat Farrell said the Department of Agriculture is providing knackeries with direct subvention towards rendering costs and have established maximum collection fees that knackeries are allowed to charge farmers for various categories of animals.
The IFA chairperson said the maximum collection fees set by the Department of Agriculture are grossly out of line with the cost of rendering and leaves farmers throughout the country exposed to higher disposal costs in the absence of competition between knackeries.
Current maximum collection rates are as follows:
Mr Farrell said it’s critically important farmers are aware these are maximum fees and should not be interpreted as the going rate for fallen animal collection.
He said farmers should not accept these maximum fees from their knackery and demand a reduction in the fees previously charged to take into account of the direct financial support the Department is now providing to the knackeries.
The IFA chairperson said the entire area of fallen animal disposal must be revisited by the Department of Agriculture and a guaranteed disposal system put in place that reduces the cost to farmers.
He said the current system is clearly not the most cost-efficient means to have animals disposed of when rendering charges for calves are €4 while farmers are charged up to €30 by knackeries. These same anomalies exist with all categories of animals. A 500 kg 2 to 4-year-old animal costing €50 to render costs farmers up to €100. He said clearly the value generated by knackeries in salvage from the carcases is not being returned to farmers.
IFA is calling on the Department of Agriculture to have a full review of the disposal of fallen animals to identify the most cost-efficient means to have them removed from farms.