CSA president Patrick Kent is calling on the Department of Agriculture to clarify its position on the possible closure of regional veterinary laboratories (RVLs).
Expressing alarm at the prospect of such a move Mr Kent said: “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.”
Continuing Mr Kent said: “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. In addition, farmers who have may just lost a valuable animal would also have the extra burden of increased transport costs for diagnostic purposes.