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Tag Archives: Department of Agriculture

Sea eagle confirmed to have avian flu

A WHITE-tailed Sea Eagle, which was born in the spring of 2017, has been confirmed to be Ireland’s first and only case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza this year. The eagle, called Shannon, was found dead on the shores of Lough Derg in County Tipperary on January 31 and, following testing, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that the avian influenza subtype H5N6 was detected in the wild bird. This is the highly pathogenic strain that has previously been confirmed in Great Britain and mainland Europe. It is the only case detected in Ireland so far. In a statement to The Clare Champion, the Department of Agriculture outlined that the White-tailed Sea Eagle is a re-introduced species, monitored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Golden Eagle Trust. “Any dead White-tailed Sea Eagle that are recovered are submitted to the Department of Agriculture’s regional laboratories for post-mortem. This was the only White-tailed Sea Eagle …

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Mountshannon cattle rustler gets suspended prison sentence

A Mountshannon farmer has received a suspended three year jail term and ordered to pay a €3,000 fine after it was uncovered using DNA tracing that he was responsible for three separate thefts of a total of 15 cattle from his neighbour. Ahead of delivering his sentence at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Gerald Keys told Padraig O’Brien, (42), of Magherigh “what you have done to your neighbour is unforgivable”. O’Brien had pleaded guilty to 15 counts of theft of the cattle worth €17,000. The offences involved the theft of five in-calf heifers from Bohatch, Mountshannon between January 17 and 18, 2015; the theft of six heifers from Kilrateera, Mountshannon between May 23 and 24, 2013, and the theft of four cows from Bohatch between December 8 and 9, 2013, a total of 15 charges. The court heard that gardaí were led to O’Brien after they found “sporadic hoof marks on the ditches” in frost, leading to his farmyard in …

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Gardaí praised for tracing Mountshannon cattle rustler

EAST Clare gardaí and the Department of Agriculture were today [Thursday] commended for what was described as “without question the most outstanding piece of police work” in a cattle rustling case. Remarkably the comments were made by the defence counsel for Padraig O’Brien, (42), of Magherigh, Mountshannon who pleaded guilty at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court to 15 counts of theft offences relating to the animals worth €17,000. The offences involved the theft of five in-calf heifers from Bohatch, Mountshannon between January 17 and 18, 2015; the theft of six heifers from Kilrateera, Mountshannon between May 23 and 24, 2013, and the theft of four cows from Bohatch between December 8 and 9, 2013. Gardaí and the Department of Agriculture used DNA testing to trace the stolen cattle through their progeny providing links back to O’Brien. Presiding Judge Gerald Keys commended the gardaí for their “Trojan work” highlighting that this country’s system of tracing cattle is “one of the best in …

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Clare forest owners to join pilot scheme

FOREST owners in the county may be included in a Knowledge Transfer Group to be funded by the Department of Agriculture. The Clare Timber Producer Group will be holding meetings in Kilkishen Cultural Centre on Wednesday night next and the Fiddle Head in Kilmihil on December 12 to outline the draft pilot project, identify forest owners willing to participate and gather feedback to develop the project with the department. The department is proposing that participants will receive expenses for taking part in the pilot project. Welcoming the inclusion of Clare in the pilot project, Brian Meaney, secretary of the Clare Timber Producer Group, stated, “This is an opportunity to increase the level of forest management activity among participants of the project, realising and improving the value of their forests and will ultimately benefit all forest owners in County Clare. “It is also important to develop a forest owners group in Clare to operate as a collective to improve financial return from farm forestry, to develop …

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Two Clare organic food producers shortlisted

Two County Clare organic food producers have been shortlisted for the upcoming National Organic Awards, organised by Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Hens’ eggs from Rathlir Farm, Kilrush are shortlisted in the Best Fresh Product category, while the Burren Smokehouse’s Smoked Irish Organic Salmon is shortlisted in the Best Prepared Product category. Following judging by a team of industry experts, just 20 companies were shortlisted across seven categories. The National Organic Awards, which mark the achievements of Irish organic food and drink growers and manufacturers who create excellent quality organic products in Ireland, will take place at Bord Bia’s Dublin headquarters on Thursday, October 13. This year’s prestigious judging panel included JP McMahon, Michelin-starred chef from Aniar restaurant, Co.Galway; freelance journalists Suzanne Campbell and Oliver Moore; Alan Kinnear, International Buying Manager, Ocado, UK online retailer; Al Overton, Head of Buying, Planet Organic, UK’s largest fully certified organic supermarket; Lisa Garrett, Innovation Chef with Le …

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Advice to farmers on waste collection

CLARE County Council has issued a reminder to farmers of the importance of only employing the services of correctly authorised waste collectors, who hold a valid and current waste collection permit. The local authority notes it is a legal requirement for any person or company involved in the collection of waste, such as farm plastics and scrap metal, to hold a waste collection permit.It also says that authorised waste collectors are also required to provide a collection permit to a farmer prior to waste being collected and removed from a farm. Waste collection permits contain a unique waste collection permit reference number, the name and address of the collector, the waste types the collector is permitted to collect, the registration details of each vehicle involved in the collection service, and the name and address of the authorised waste facility where waste is to be delivered. In addition, the waste collection permit reference number must be clearly displayed on the cab …

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CAP payments publication worries

ELDERLY farmers living in isolated areas could be targeted by criminals following the publication of names of recipients of direct Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) payments. Under CAP, for the 12 months up to October 2014, €75.58 million was shared by 6,310 Clare farmers. Farm leaders believe some elderly farmers in very rural areas “are now living in fear that criminals will use the details of their CAP payments as a reason to attack them and extort money from them in their own homes”. The publication of payments on the Department of Agriculture website has been described as an “invasion of privacy” and farm leaders are angry that they are the only group that has been singled out for what they claim is unfair treatment. Farm leaders have also pointed out that the published figures for individual farmers are gross amounts that do not represent the real profit on a farm after all the day-to-day expenses and costs are deducted. The …

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High risk of wildfires

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Tom Hayes has today reminded forest owners and managers, farmers and members of the public of the need to be alert to the risk of wildfires over the coming weeks. “In recent years we have experienced a number of major wildfires that destroyed or damaged property, including farmland and forests. These events endanger people’s homes, place enormous strain on the resources of the emergency services and put the lives of rural dwellers and emergency service personnel at considerable risk,” he said. The minister noted that following dry weather patterns, a wildfire risk can quickly develop in all areas where flammable vegetation such as grasses, gorse and heather are present, especially in proximity to forests and other assets. He has asked land owners, rural dwellers and other land users to maintain a high degree of vigilance regarding fire over the coming months. Suspicious activity should be reported to the gardaí and uncontrolled or …

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