IFA President John Bryan has issued a strong warning that farmers should be extremely careful in protecting the health status of their herds and not to purchase animal of unknown origin.
John Bryan said Irish farmers have invested heavily in raising the health status of the national herd. “The irresponsible actions of a few will not be condoned and cannot be allowed to jeopardise the work and investment made by farmers in attaining the health status we currently hold.”
Mr Bryan said livestock farmers throughout the country need to be very vigilant and aware of the importance of bio-security in terms of maintaining the health status of their herds. Imported animals will not be allowed join the Bord Bia Quality Assurance scheme and most beef factories have made it very clear they will not purchase imports because of the identification and traceability problems involved.
In the past, it was very difficult to get imported animals slaughtered, and in many cases only derisory prices were offered.
IFA has met with the Department of Agriculture on several occasions this year highlighting the risks associated with imports and the potential damage and costs involved for Ireland’s €24bn agricultural sector.
The IFA understands based on analysis undertaken by the Department of Agriculture a high prevalence of BVD disease has been detected in some imported consignments.
The IFA President said, “Farmers are paying a very high price in terms of the damage to the high animal health status of the National livestock herd from imports. They have been left with no alternative other than to undertake costly eradication programmes to overcome the mistakes of the past.”