Farm Ireland

Tuesday 18 December 2018

40 emergency calls to Department's animal welfare helpline during Storm Emma

Farmers in Laois clearing roads that were impassable with snow.
Farmers in Laois clearing roads that were impassable with snow.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The Department of Agriculture received 40 calls to its emergency animal welfare helpline since last Wednesday as Storm Emma took a grip on the country.

It said today that its emergency animal welfare helpline would remain monitored in the coming days and that the 40 calls it had been received had been dealt with.

The impacts of Storm Emma have varied considerably across the country, with areas along the east and south most impacted, as are farmers in high ground, it said and as the thaw begins to set in in most areas, farm safety remains of paramount concern. 

The problem of freezing water pipes is now easing somewhat, but care needs to be taken as burst pipes are revealed with the thaw.

Concerns relating to the provision of water, shelter and feed to livestock remain in some areas, especially in regions in the South East.

Where farmers are tending animals, they should ensure they carry a mobile phone and let people know where they are, checking in at appropriate regular intervals. Where attending to animals in remote locations, a second person should be in accompaniment.

Care should be maintained around the farmyard when clearing up after the storm. Falls represent the single biggest threat during any clean-up period after such storms and appropriate care needs to be taken to avoid such occurrences. 

Any attempts to remove snow from roofs of farm buildings should be avoided.  Repairs to buildings and equipment should be carried by appropriately qualified personnel.

Also Read

With a thaw there will be significant volumes of slush and water to deal with, so it will be particularly important to ensure drains and gullies are clear to prevent flooding of tanks. Further advice on farming during severe weather conditions is available on the Teagasc website.

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