Factories take advantage of TB test - Cllr

Cllr Dan McCarthy
Cllr Dan McCarthy

A NEW regulation that bans farmers from selling cattle with an inconclusive TB test on the open market is giving factories a licence to pay ridiculously low prices, according to South Kerry Councillor Dan McCarthy.

Cllr McCarthy, who is also the manager of Kenmare Mart, raised the issue at the monthly meeting of Kerry County Council last week where he explained that a farmer who has an animal with an inconclusive TB test must retest the animal after 60 days. If the retest is clear then the farmer is entitled to keep the animal, along with the remainder of his herd, for as long as he wants as if nothing had happened.

However, the farmer cannot sell the animal on the open market, which means the only outlet available is the factory. Knowing that the farmer has only one selling option, the factories are then in a position to offer whatever price they want and, invariably, this price is rock bottom.

"Farmers' pockets are suffering due to the new legislation," said Cllr McCarthy who wants the Dept of Agriculture to pay the same compensation for an animal with an inconclusive TB test as would be paid for a reactor animal.

Cllr McCarthy won support at the council meeting for a motion asking the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine "why a new law has been implemented in that an animal that has an inconclusive result in TB must only be sold to a factory. The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine should be obliged to purchase this animal as is the case for reactor animals."