Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Matt Carthy TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture to review existing supports for poultry farmers affected by avian influenza outbreaks.
His calls come following the lifting of confinement measures implemented in response to Bird flu outbreaks last year in Cavan and Monaghan.
Teachta Carthy said:
“Last year poultry farmers were hit with two separate outbreaks of avian influenza that saw flocks across the border region depopulated.
“During the first outbreak, it took weeks of campaigning and pressure for the government to implement a support scheme for effected farmers.
“Any farmer that does the responsible thing and depopulates their flock should be compensated for their loss.
“Therefore, Minister McConalogue must review the current framework for compensation to ensure that, if there is another outbreak this year, farmers can be confident that they will be financially supported by the Department.
“While farmers affected by a second outbreak later in the year were entitled to compensation, it appears that these farmers have not yet been paid.
“This echoes the problem of those farmers who were able to eventually avail of compensation during the first outbreak – whereby it took months for them to be paid.
“If the Minister will agree to review the existing framework to be more inclusive, I would also urge him to ensure that any payments are made promptly to farmers, to support them when they need it most.
“I will continue to raise this matter with the Minister on behalf of poultry farmers.”