'Farmers are nicer people when their animals are healthy' - Animal Health Ireland

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Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Having heathier animals improves farmer health and makes them nicer people, chairman of Animal Health Ireland Mike Magan has said.

Speaking at AHI’s ten year anniversary conference Mr Magan pointed out that the organisation’s work at achieving a healthier national herd over the last decade has contributed to improving the mental well-being of farmers.

“The one and probably the most difficult of all to measure when we have healthier animals we as farmers are nicer people, we’re better when we go in in the evening to our wives and husbands or family we are easier to talk to and easier to deal with,” said Mr Magan.

“It’s very difficult to measure but mental health or emotional pressure is a hugely important thing that we need to deal with. If we’ve got animals that are healthier we’re all better people. It’s terribly difficult to measure but hugely important.”

Meanwhile Professor Michael Doherty, Dean of Veterinary Medicine at UCD told delegates at the conference that before AHI was launched, the industry was not achieving best animal practice and vets lacked self confidence.

“There were a lot of really good things that were happening in Ireland but there were serious issues around best practice. We had huge disease cost, we didn’t have collaboration. There was no teamwork.

“The veterinary profession was marginalised. I didn’t think we were a strong voice at the table. We didn’t have the self confidence to deliver what industry wanted.”

EU Commissioner on Heath and Food Safety, Dr Vytenis Andriukatis also stated that the fight against Anti-microbial Resistance is a “race against tim” but added that the new rules on veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed due to commence at the end of January 2022 will strengthen EU action on AMR.

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