Independent view: Livestock loss another cost of cold snap
Published 04/01/2011 | 05:00
The cold snap may have passed but many farmers are still counting the cost of one of the coldest Decembers on record.
For some that price involved the loss of livestock. While putting firm figures of the extent of the losses is impossible, there are reports of cattle deaths due to weather-related incidents across the country.
The causes range from thirsty cattle gorging themselves on cold water, to stock being drowned after breaking onto frozen lakes and water courses.
Knackeries also report increased numbers of cows and heifers being lost due to falls on frozen yards.
Pat Coyle from The Ward Hunt in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, said he had treble the number of cows and heifers lost to falls than he had in previous Decembers.
He said calf losses due to virus pneumonia were also running close to double normal levels.
Con Duggan, an animal collector from Ballinhassig, Co Cork, said cattle losses due to falls were up 30pc while deaths due to virus pneumonia were also running well ahead of normal.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Lambe of the Animal Collectors Association, confirmed that he had collected two cattle which had drowned after falling through ice on a frozen lake in south Monaghan. In Cavan, a number of cattle are understood to have been lost after they strayed onto a frozen lake.