Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

AHI election proposals 'deferred not dropped'

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

A move to radically change the manner in which the board of Animal Health Ireland (AHI) is elected was withdrawn at the organisation's AGM last Thursday.

The proposal was to have four board members elected, while the remaining four would be selected by stakeholders from a recommended list.

The four elected members would have included one farmer representative, two from dairy processors and one from the meat industry.

The recommended list for the additional four candidates was to be drawn up by a committee, including the AHI chairman Mike Magan and chief executive Joe O'Flaherty, as well as the chair of the organisation's audit committee.

It was initially planned to have the proposals discussed and voted on at the end of the AGM, but reservations about the selection process were expressed in the run up to the meeting and it was decided to defer the vote until a later date.

An AHI source said that the decision to withdraw the proposals was to give the stakeholders time to mull over and discuss issues involved themselves.

But he insisted that the proposed changes had been deferred and not dropped, and would be put to a vote at an extraordinary general meeting within the next few months.

Frustration at the slow pace in bringing forward concrete plans to tackle diseases such as BVD and high somatic cell counts are understood to be behind the plans to streamline governance at AHI.

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The AHI estimate that annual savings of up to €102m could be realised if BVD was eradicated from the Irish herd at a cost €10/year. The organisation claims that the disease could be eradicated in three years -- the Swiss eradicated BVD in two years -- if a concerted effort was made by the industry.

Declan O'Brien

Indo Farming

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