Knackeries warn of big hike in fees
Farmers could face a major hike in fallen animal charges if the Department of Agriculture presses ahead with new rules on meat sales from knackeries to dog owners, knackery agents have warned.
The rules effectively outlaw the meat trade between knackeries and greyhound owners and severely restrict the trade to other dog owners.
It is estimated that at least 75pc of the 18,000 greyhound pups reared in Ireland each year are fed meat sourced from the knackery system.
John Styles, owner of one of the largest knackeries in the country in Portlaoise, has warned that unless he can continue to sell meat from fallen animals, he will be forced to ramp up collection charges to farmers.
Farmers could face a €50-70/hd increase in the cost of disposing of a mature cow, one fallen animal collector has predicted.
If the hikes were implemented by all animal collectors, the move would cost farmers more than €2.5m next year.
The Department of Agriculture has written to all 40 licensed knackeries in the country to notify them of changes to the rules regarding meat from fallen animals being sold to dog owners.
Some 23 of the 40 licensed knackeries are currently approved to sell Category 2 and Category 3 animal by-products (ABP) or meat from fallen animals to holders of Meat Feeder Licences, the majority of whom are greyhound owners, hunt kennels and other dog owners.