Vet factory row set to escalate amid fears more animals won't be slaughtered

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

There are fears that increased numbers of pigs will be turned away from meat factories this week as the row between Veterinary Ireland and the Department of Agriculture continues.

IFA has called on Veterinary Ireland to cease their disruption of meat factories and to re-enter talks with the Department of Agriculture.

According to IFA, the problem is now most acute in pig factories. IFA said it understands that the organised disruption by vets in factories will result in the slaughtering of cull sows being stopped from next week.

It said there will be further implications the following week if the matter is not resolved.

“It is totally unacceptable that farmers are being used as a pawn in a chess game between Veterinary Ireland and the Minister for Agriculture,” IFA President Joe Healy said.

Thousands of cattle, sheep and pigs went unslaughtered the week before Christmas, one of the busiest weeks of the year for meat factories, as meat factories were unable to slaughter to full capacity as a number of Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs) continued a work to rule in factories.

Factories saw the slaughter line being stopped for periods and the kill being suspended during the day, with some factories having to cancel cattle loads that had been booked in.

Meat Industry Ireland strongly criticised the ongoing disruption to normal processing operations in a number of meat plants due to industrial action by TVIs.

The row centers around a number of issues concerning the TVI panel. Vets say a moratorium on recruitment onto the TVI panel means there is a shortage of approximately 150 vets to carry out factory work.

Online Editors