Farm Ireland

Friday 15 December 2017

Department called on to stop practice of employing retired vets for €75/hour

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Veterinary Ireland has called on the Minister for Agriculture to instruct his officials to re-open the Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVI) in slaughter plants panels to its members.

The group wants the role, which is understood to be worth €300 for a 4hr shift, to be opened especially for younger veterinary practitioners, under the existing conditions of service. This works out at €75/hour for the vets.

It is has also called on the Minister to ensure that the Department of Agriculture ceases the practice of re-engaging retired Veterinary Inspectors rather than recruiting new TVIs.

Veterinary Ireland said recently that many meat plants are depending on the goodwill of practising vets to commit to double shifts in order to keep production running uninterrupted.

"This situation is neither acceptable nor sustainable and Veterinary Ireland believes that DAFM has no valid reason to keep the panels closed to new members."

According to figures from the Department of Agriculture, in 2016, 602 Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs) were engaged by it to provide meat inspections services in approved meat plants throughout Ireland. 

They were paid a total of €15.9m.

Of these 602 TVIs, 28 were retired Veterinary Inspectorate staff.

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From 12 December 2011 the Department ceased accepting new applications for approval for engagement as TVIs. 

The Department says there is a notification available on the its website outlining this closure.

Up until this point the Department placed no restrictions on who could or could not apply for approval once the applicant had the relevant Veterinary qualification, was registered with the Veterinary Council of Ireland and had undergone (at their own expense) the necessary training in meat inspection services.

The Department says it has no plans to re-open the TVI panels under the existing conditions of engagement.

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