Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Vets sought for €65/hr factory inspection jobs

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Department of Agriculture recently tendered for new veterinary personnel to carry out inspection work at a slaughter house in Clare.

The move is significant as it comes following calls from Veterinary Ireland for the Minister for Agriculture re-open the Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVI) in slaughter plants panels to its members.

The group wanted the roles to be opened especially for younger veterinary practitioners, under the existing conditions of service.

It 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.

This week the Department of Agriculture, tendered for suitably qualified individuals for the provision of services for ante mortem and post mortem inspection of animals slaughtered in a meat establishment supervised by the Department.

It said the services in this tender will be required at Kepak, Drumquin, Tiermaclane, Ennis, Co. Clare.

The hourly rate is fixed and the amount payable is €64.49 however, the Department says it reserves the right to vary the hourly rate.

A suitably qualified individual must be a veterinary practitioner registered with the Veterinary Council of Ireland and must have an understanding of the requirements of the rules relating to hygiene in food of animal origin regulations.

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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.

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

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