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Some cows, not from Cork. Joost J. Bakker
Cowpat gate

Cowpatgate: Cork farmers told to clean up after their cattle

Cork County Council has sent letters to some farmers, ordering them to pick up after their cows.

FARMERS IN CORK have been threatened with legal action after the county council told them they must clean up after their cows.

Cork County Council has sent letters to a few farmers in the Mitchelstown area, telling them that failing to keep roadways free of waste and mud contravenes the 1993 Roads Act.

Local councillor Kevin O’Keeffe has joined the farmers in criticising the measure. He told TheJournal.ie that the “heavy handed” letters were received without prior notification. He said that a more appropriate approach would have been to call to the farmers’ doors to discuss the matter, rather than sending out letters.

O’Keeffe said that many of the farmers have been working in the area for decades, and that to suddenly expect them to curtail or change their practices is unfair.

He said that while he understands that there may be some health and safety issues, or that some roads may have been recently resurfaced, the farmers are “doing their best”.

Councillor O’Keefe said that he has raised the issue with at a roads committee meeting, after receiving complaints from several farmers and local farmers groups. He said that some progress is now being made on discussions between county engineers and farmers.

Local paper The Corkman reported that one of the county’s senior engineers has said that huge money had been put into improving the roads, and that the council had a responsibility to maintain that investment.

O’Keeffe told TheJournal.ie that he’s suggesting that the government should look into providing grants to fund underpasses, so that cattle do not have to cross main roads. He said that only a few decades ago cows were free to graze by the roadside.

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