ICSA calls for extra Garda resources to counter illegal butchering activity and cattle theft

12th November, 2013

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has condemned those responsible for the illegal butchering of cattle carcases discovered in Co. Louth this morning, and called for extra resources for Gardaí to investigate this incident as well as incidents of cattle theft.

ICSA’s Connaught Ulster vice president John Flynn said, “ICSA condemns this activity in the strongest terms possible and the first priority must be to track down those responsible and ensure that prosecutions are brought sooner rather than later. This is outrageous criminal activity and whoever is involved must face the fullest extent of the law. I would call on anyone with information to contact the Gardaí without delay.”

Mr Flynn said concerns arise regarding traceability as a result of the discovery. “If, as the Louth County Vet believes, these animals were butchered with the intention of selling the meat for human consumption, then there are potentially serious traceability issues that need to be thoroughly investigated and addressed by the Department of Agriculture and the Food Safety Authority. The farming community and governing bodies work extremely hard to ensure that Irish meat is safe and traceable for all consumers and any threat to that work cannot be tolerated.”

This incident also highlights the issue of illegal activity in the Border area in particular and ICSA is convinced that the Gardaí need better resources to deal with increasing crime, particularly theft, in the counties along the Border. “Anecdotally, there has been a significant increase in crime in the Border region and livestock theft is part of a bigger picture involving theft of diesel and machinery and other high-value items. It appears that the criminals involved are highly organised and have strong local knowledge and it is clear that the Gardaí need far better resources to tackle this,” Mr Flynn concluded.