15 FEBRUARY 2017
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) along with ICMSA have this morning mounted a protest at the Regional Veterinary Laboratory in Knockalisheen, Co Clare over the possible closure of the facility. The protest was scheduled to coincide with a trip to lab by a review group from the Department of Agriculture and was led by ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch and rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock.
Speaking at the protest the ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said “This proposal makes no sense at all. The lab is a vital resource with helping farmers determine the cause of mortality and with helping them get on top of infectious diseases another animal health issues as soon as possible. Closing it down will have a huge detrimental effect on animal health and welfare. It will also hinder farmers efforts to be more efficient in reducing mortality. We had an exchange of views with the Department officials here and we will be having further discussions in the coming weeks. We will also have the opportunity to raise the matter with Minister Creed at ICSA’s AGM and Annual Conference tomorrow (Thurs). ICSA will continue to vigorously oppose the closure of this or any other Regional Veterinary Lab.”
The lab at Knockalisheen serves a wide farming community in the Mid-West region.
Mr Sherlock said “The focus should be on improving services for farmers, not removing them. The regional spread of these facilities is also critical; even the closure of one lab would create a big geographical gap in services. It is a resource that must be protected.”