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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
James Horan/Photocall Ireland

20 per cent increase in dead animals as fodder crisis deepens

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney urged farmers to seek help if they cannot cope.

THE NUMBER OF farm animals which have died this spring has increased more than 20 per cent compared to the same period last year as the fodder crisis deepens.

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney confirmed the figure in the Dáil as he again urged farmers to seek help if they cannot cope.

Farmers would usually buy enough fodder – dried hay or feed given to cattle and livestock – to last until the spring when the grass begins to grow and animals can begin to eat that instead. However the unexpectedly cold and wet winter and spring means farmers ran out of hay earlier than usual and grass has not grown enough to meet the needs of the animals in many parts of the country.

“No animal should die of starvation in this country and help is available to those farmers who cannot cope,” the Minister told the Dail in response to a question from Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan.

Minister Coveney said animal mortality is being monitored by the Department of Agriculture on an ongoing basis.

“While access to fodder is an immediate priority, grass growth in the months ahead will be the key to ensuring that this problem is overcome,” he said.

The Government has introduced a €1 million fund to contribute towards the transport costs of importing fodder, which is believed to have cut the cost for farmers by about one third. A consignment of fodder from France was due to arrive in Ireland today.

Read: Fodder from France due for stricken Irish farmers >

Read: Coveney extends fodder scheme: ‘No animals should die of starvation’ >

Read: €250,000 fodder fund set up for farmers in crisis >

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