3 MARCH 2017
ICSA Roscommon chairman Ger Grehan has said Department of Agriculture officials have acknowledged there would be no cost saving benefit to closing down any of the Regional Veterinary Laboratories currently under review. Mr Grehan met with the Department officials following the protest on Wednesday (1 March) at the lab at Coosan, Athlone, Co Westmeath.
Mr Grehan said “With the knowledge that there would be no cost saving benefit to the taxpayer in closing down any or all of the labs, there can be no justification for a move of that kind. The labs are needed now more than ever due to increasing cattle numbers particularly with the expansion in the dairy herd over the last number of years. Our national cattle herd is approaching 7m head with the beef industry generating over 2bn in exports each year. It needs to be protected now and into future.”
ICSA will be having further meetings with the committee reviewing the future of the labs in the coming weeks. ICSA also understands that no decisions will be taken on the matter until the end of the year.
Mr Grehan said “There is an opportunity here to undertake the necessary upgrading of the existing facilities around the country where necessary. We cannot afford to take any risks where animal health and welfare is concerned. ICSA will continue to fight to keep all the labs open and operating to the highest standards possible.”