Concerns over the future of the regional veterinary laboratory in Sligo were raised at a recent meeting of of Donegal IFA members.
The matter was raised by Letterkenny IFA member Frank McClean who said there were concerns the service was under threat. and if it closed would leave the north west of the country with no such laboratory service.
He said they would be calling for the retaining and upgrading of the service and may even plan protest action to highlight the matter.
Chairman of the Donegal branch, Michael Chance said the closure of the Sligo lab was mooted two years ago and now the issue is “back again”.
In a statement from Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association president Patrick Kent, said he was calling on the Department of Agriculture to clarify its position on the possible closure of regional veterinary laboratories (RVLs).
Mr Kent stated: “These laboratories are a vital resource in assisting farmers and their veterinary practitioners with determining the cause of livestock death and disease. The regional spread of these facilities is also critical; even the closure of one lab would create a big geographical gap in services. It is a resource that must be protected.”
He added: “The focus should be on improving services for farmers not removing them. Over recent years farmers have been endeavouring to improve their stock, particularly through schemes such as BDGP and Knowledge Transfer, so when an on farm death occurs they need to be able to receive a prompt diagnosis. “