Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon has called on the Government to provide a commitment that the veterinary lab in Sligo will remain open. A Government review of all six veterinary labs could see the closure of the Sligo facility, which would leave the North West without any veterinary lab in the region.
Deputy Scanlon raised the issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week.
“Sligo veterinary lab provides essential services for farmers in the North West – with more than 3,000 post-mortems and 25,500 samples tested there in 2015 alone. The facility serves seven counties – including Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Cavan – and is the only veterinary lab in the whole of the North West. The Government review, which began last year, has raised serious concerns about the future of this vital piece of infrastructure”, explained Deputy Scanlon.
“The closure of this facility would have an extremely destructive impact on the agri industry in the North West. It would force farmers to transport dead animals hundreds of miles across the country for services that are currently on their doorstep and it would fly in the face of the Rural Action Plan, which was only announced last month.
“The retention of the Sligo lab is even more important given the threat of Brexit, which is already impacting the agri-sector. We need to be supporting our farmers, not forcing them to make costly and unnecessary journeys for essential services.
“The Taoiseach admitted that the movement of carcasses across the country for analysis and investigation is an issue in itself and he pledged to raise the matter again with Minister Michael Creed. I will continue to press both the Minister and the Taoiseach on this issue to ensure that Sligo veterinary lab is retained and protected into the future”.