Centralisation of DVO staff to impact on farmer services
Farmers in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary will have to deal with Department of Agriculture staff in Naas on any veterinary or TB testing queries following the redeployment of personnel away from two district veterinary offices (DVOs).
Twenty-four staff from the Limerick DVO transferred to Revenue this week to work on the introduction of the new property tax, while 23 personnel from Tipperary's DVO are to move to the Garda Vetting Service.
The changes are part of a drive by the Department to centralise clerical services for the DVOs into two centres in Cavan and Portlaoise.
However, problems in Portlaoise at the moment mean the service is being transferred on a temporary basis to the Department's offices in Naas.
The Department said centralising administrative procedures would enable it to reduce the number of administrative staff it required to support veterinary office operations and the cost of providing its services.
A Department spokesman said the changes would not negatively impact on access and services for local customers.
"Department vets, inspectors and technical officers will remain in place at the existing locations to service our clients across all of the schemes that are provided from our regional offices," he said.
However, staff in both Limerick and Tipperary have challenged this assertion and claim that the same level of service will not be available to farmers.