Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has expressed deep concern at the potential closure of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Regional Veterinary Laboratory in Sligo, which services large parts of the west & northwest.
Farming groups from around the North West protested at the Lab in Sligo on Thursday, and Matt Carthy, a member of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee said:
“I am deeply concerned at the potential closure of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Regional Veterinary Lab in Sligo, which services large parts of the west & northwest.
“Apart from the blow to workers at the lab, any closure would have a significant negative impact on farming communities in the north west.
“The situation again raises questions regarding regional imbalance in services and infrastructure.
“Any closure will mean that farmers in the North West will be forced to make lengthy journeys to avail of services to labs in other parts of the country.
“This lab performed over 3,000 post mortems on cattle and sheep in 2016 and tested nearly 30,000 samples from farmers. It is a vital service for suckler, beef and sheep farmers in this region.
“I will be in contact with the Minister for Agriculture to seek to ensure that diagnostic services in the north west, which are important in protecting the health status of the national herd, and which are important for the wider rural economy are maintained, and that this lab remains open.”