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News 2324 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Ireland: Rise in livestock deaths due to fodder crisis

The fodder crisis in Ireland is resulting in a record number of dead livestock animals around the country. So much so that collectors and rendering plants struggle to keep up.

Knackeries have confirmed a huge surge in animal mortality in 2013, with dead animal collections up 20-40% in some regions. Poor body condition, bad quality fodder and extreme weather conditions were the main reasons cited by animal collectors for the jump in animal death rates. This is supported by figures from the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Identification and Movement System (AIMS), which showed that losses of cattle aged 48 months or older rose by 61% in January and February compared to the same period in 2012.

According to them, older animals have been hit hardest by poor quality fodder and being underfed. The problem is now so extreme that collectors are struggling to keep their skips empty and the rendering plants are unable to keep up with the work.

The Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority has established a Fodder Crisis Task Force but there are calls for more intervention from the Government.

The fodder crisis came about due to the prolonged winter weather in combination with the terrible summer harvest last year.

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