26th August, 2013
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association is continuing to oppose any moves to close the public office of Roscommon’s District Veterinary Office. An ICSA delegation met with senior local Department of Agriculture officials at the DVO today (Monday 26th August), along with representatives from a number of local marts, live exporters and local vets.
Speaking before the meeting, Ardkeel farmer Charles Clarke, a member of the ICSA national executive, said, “I know that DVOs are being closed to the public around the country in efforts to cut costs but there are several special factors that need to be taken into consideration in the case of the Roscommon office.”
“For one thing, the broadband infrastructure in the county is very poor so in many cases switching to online forms is simply not an option. That’s before you consider that there are a great many older farmers in the area who would not be familiar enough with computerised systems to be able to carry out their business online. For them, being able to go into the public office and get help from an experience member of staff is invaluable. On top of that, the sheep recording system is not yet available online.”
“There is also the distance issue – it seems the Department plans to move the public services to Naas and that would be an enormous distance to travel for Roscommon farmers.”
Mr Clarke also highlighted the fears of local vets that the loss of the local DVO would jeopardise the progress that has been made on issues such as TB eradication in the area.