Minister must intervene in Knackeries strike to 'protect public health'

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The Minister for Agriculture has been called on to intervene in the nationwide strike by Knackeries which has entered its second day.

A little under 40 of the country’s Knackeries have been on an indefinite strike since Tuesday.

Animal Collectors Association has said the businesses are working at a loss and that funding from the Department of Agriculture was reduced by over 80pc in 2009.

Since then additional costs have been passed onto farmers for the collection of their animals but now the Animal Collectors Association says it is not viable for the knackeries to continue running at a loss.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue is calling on the Minister for Agriculture to meet with representatives of the Animal Collectors Association (ACA).

"The Minister cannot allow this strike to go on for much longer, otherwise we risk serious public health issues.

“If a farmer has an animal who has died, right now there is no way of disposing of the animal. The farmer cannot bury the animal, so it effectively has to stay on the farm until it can be disposed of properly. Ordinarily, these services would be provided by Knackeries.

“Most of these are small family-run businesses who have been struggling for a number of years now. They play an important role in the Agri-sector but due to Department constraints, it is not a financially successful business.

“The Minister appears to be losing control of the entire farming sector. He needs to meet with ACA representatives, provide additional supports to ensure the viability of the industry and review the fallen animal scheme and work toward ending this strike,” said Deputy McConalogue.

The Department said it has been in discussion the Animal Collector’s Association (ACA) in the last weeks, in relation to the operations of knackeries and the Fallen Animal Scheme. Arising from the discussions, the Department said it has made proposals that would further enhance the supports it gives to the important work that knackeries undertake within the agri-sector.

The Department has sought to continue the discussions with ACA with a view to resolving this issue.

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