The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine has issued a safety warning to the equestrian and farming communities following the wettest December on record.
Their advice includes:
Following the recent heavy rainfall some farmland may be severely flooded. Please be extra vigilant if you have to go into water logged/flooded fields as there are hidden risks. Do not attempt to rescue stranded animal yourself. Do not go into flooded land if you can avoid it and if you do have to ensure that you tell someone where you are going.
In the event of severe flooding of farmland the following arrangements may be put in place for the movement of animals.
- In general, there is no restriction on the movement of cattle within the same holding, including onto parcels within the same holding.
- The movement of animals that are ‘in test’ from herds which are not restricted due to TB can be effected relatively easily on the basis of a Compliance Certificate which can obtained from the DVO, the local mart, the herd PVP (if registered to do so) or printed out by the herdowner himself.
- In the case of ‘out of test’ animals or herds which are restricted due to TB, the movement of such animals or cattle out of these herds is prohibited except where they are going direct to slaughter.
- Exceptions to the above rules can be made where the welfare or lives of animals is threatened. Every effort must be made to prevent, if possible, and if not to limit the exposure of such animals to other TB susceptible animals.
- In the case of non-restricted herds, where the animals are at risk, the herdowner should move the animals to higher ground on his/her own farm if this is possible. If this is not possible and the herdowner is unable to get a compliance cert from the DVO or print one out himself/herself, the animals may be moved out of the holding.
- In the case of TB restricted herds, where the animals are at risk, the herdowner should move the animals to higher ground on his/her own farm if this is possible. If this is not possible and the herdowner is unable to get a movement permit from the DVO the animals may be moved out of the holding. In these circumstances the herdowner should notify the DVO as soon as possible after movement.
- Every effort must be made to prevent / limit the exposure of such animals to other TB susceptible animals.
Flooded Slurry Tanks
In the event of flooding of slurry tanks the following emergency measures may be put in place
- In emergency cases farmers will be permitted to pump some water out of flooded tanks but only for animal welfare reasons. This concession will apply only in those areas that have been severely affected by flooding.
- Tanks should not be agitated before pumping. Use a sludge pump if possible rather than a vacuum tanker. The suction pipe should be inserted almost to the bottom of the slurry tank so that solids are not removed.
- Pump out no more than is necessary to alleviate the immediate animal welfare problem.
- If water is already above the level of the central passageway or the apron, then there is no point in pumping at all because water will continue to flow into the tank. In these cases, animals will have to be removed from the sheds.
- The water should not be discharged directly to a watercourse but onto the driest field available.
Animal Welfare Helpline
For other animal welfare issues connected with severe weather please keep in touch with your Teagasc adviser or contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Animal Welfare Helpline on:
- Call Save: 0761 064408
Phone: 01 6072379