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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 19 May 2022

Around 40 knackeries close down temporarily as losses mount

“The sustainability of knackeries is in question,” a Louth TD said.

Sheep on a farm.
Sheep on a farm.
Image: Shutterstock/Heath Johnson

KNACKERIES AROUND THE country have closed their gates this morning, according to the chairperson of the Animal Collectors Association. 

Chairperson Michael McKeever, who has a knackery in Co Louth, said this morning that knackeries are working at a loss.

He said that funding from the Department of Agriculture was reduced by over 80% in 2009.  

Since then, additional costs have been passed onto farmers for the collection of their animals. The Animal Collectors Association (ACA) says it is not viable for the knackeries to continue running at a loss.

The Department of Agriculture has been in discussion with the ACA in recent weeks in relation to the operation of knackeries and the Fallen Animal Scheme, according to a spokesperson for the department. 

“Arising from the discussions, DAFM has made proposals that would further enhance the supports it gives to the important work that knackeries undertake within the agri-sector,” the spokesperson said.  

“The department seeks to continue our discussions with ACA with a view to resolving this issue.” 

Animals that have died on farms or animals that are alive but unwell and unfit for human consumption are sent to a knackery. 

McKeever confirmed this morning that the decision has been taken to close the gates on the 40 or so knackeries around the country.

Louth TD Declan Breathnach said “this is part of an ongoing saga particularly with family run knackeries who are making losses.”

“The Minister for Agriculture is aware of the situation and I am asking him to intervene before this situation escalates.”

“The sustainability of knackeries is in question,” said Breathnach. “They have been trying to sustain an operation that is unsustainable without some form of support.”

He added that “there is now an issue of health and safety and danger of spread of disease where animals are left uncollected.”

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Elaine Keogh

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