Illegal dumping of animals now posing disease risks

The dead sheep found in a black bag dumped in the river
The dead sheep found in a black bag dumped in the river
Colm O'Donnell, INHFA chairman at a previous protest outside Enda Kenny's constituency office in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo: Michael McLaughlin

Siobhán English

FARMERS have been advised to seek help from their local District Veterinary Office (DVO) rather than resort to the illegal dumping of dead animals.

"Help is there if needed," said Colm O'Donnell of the INHFA.

Mr O'Donnell's comments came after more reports in recent weeks of dead lambs, ewes and calves being dumped illegally in counties Cavan, Meath, Donegal and Westmeath.

"We do not condone this and while a lot of farmers have already sought help, there are many others who can avail of the service," said Mr O'Donnell. "Their DVO will act swiftly to help them. We will be sending out a text alert to all our members next week as a reminder."

In one recent incident, five calves and three ewes were found dumped by the roadside near Fanad, Co Donegal.

A statement from Donegal County Council confirmed that the animals have been disposed via an appropriate licensed facility. The matter is now under investigation.


Another incident in Louth, on the N53 Dundalk to Castleblayney road, involved the remains of a dead calf.

There have also been reports of dead lambs, sheep and calves dumped near forestry outside Killeshandra in Cavan, as well as several bags of dead lambs found in a ditch on the N55 outside Athlone.

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Some carcasses have been found in streams and rivers which can lead to the spread of cryptosporidium.

It is believed that some farmers who have already suffered financial loss owing to the bad winter are cutting corners to save money. With the identification tags removed, prosecution can prove difficult.

The cost of disposing of a calf up to six months old varies between €25 to €50, while the disposal of a newborn lamb can cost as little as €1.

Indo Farming

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