Farm Ireland

Monday 11 December 2017

Horrific find of butchered sheep carcases in woodland

IFA calls for investigation into grisly discovery near Navan

A garda investigation is being sought.
A garda investigation is being sought.
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

Butchered sheep carcases have been found stuffed into plastic bags in a Meath woodland.

The grisly discovery was made by local beef farmer Joe Kilmartin when he was out herding last Tuesday.

Bloody towels, bloody sawdust and an industrial saw were also found next to the plastic bags dumped on the banks of a ditch in Kentstown.

"There are four of five bags of sheep guts and pairs of sheep legs, and a few other bits and pieces like that," Mr Kilmartin said.

"There mightn't be a whole lot when you put it all together, but it's obvious that someone illegally butchered a few sheep somewhere and threw the offal or the evidence out into the corner of the woods beside me," added Mr Kilmartin, who reported the incident to Navan garda station and Meath Co. Council.

"I thought I was after coming across something more serious than sheep to tell the truth, so it was a bit of a relief when I got closer and looked inside the bags," he said.

It is understood the Gardaí are now investigating the incident.

Meath Co. Council did not respond to queries regarding the find.

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Although the most recent livestock rustling figures show the crime is down on 2015 figures, John Lynskey, chairman of the IFA sheep committee, said livestock theft remains a "very serious issue" for affected farmers throughout the country.

"Any incident like this one in Kentstown should be reported to both the gardaí and the county council.

We would be calling for a full investigation by the Gardaí and the appropriate authorities," Mr Lynskey said.

He added that the incident raises "very serious issues" around losses for the farmer whose animals were stolen, animal welfare, disease and consumer health.

"We don't know where these animals were slaughtered, or how they were slaughtered, so there are serious welfare issues there. There is a disease issue in terms of having carcases and offal dumped out on your farm," he said.

"And then there is a huge consumer health issue for those who might end up consuming the meat so there are significant concerns around this discovery," Mr Lynskey said, adding that the IFA "condemn" this type of activity.

Although such discoveries are not considered widespread, the IFA confirmed that similar types of incidents have been reported before.

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