BestEditors ChoiceSafety

“As the thaw begins to set in most areas, farm safety remains of paramount concern”

Ireland is now in a state 0f recovery and returning to normal following the impact of Storm Emma, however, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine say farmers must remain vigilant.

In a statement the Department said:

“The impacts of Storm Emma have varied considerably across the country, with areas along the east and south most impacted, as are farmers in high ground. As the thaw begins to set in most areas, farm safety remains of paramount concern.”

While the problem of freezing water pipes is now easing somewhat, the Deparmtment said care needs to be taken as burst pipes are revealed with the thaw.

Concerns relating to the provision of water, shelter and feed to livestock remain in some areas, especially in regions in the south-east.

Farmers who are tending animals are advised to carry a mobile phone and let people know where they are, checking in at appropriate regular intervals.

“Where attending to animals in remote locations, a second person should be in accompaniment”, warned the Department.

The Department continued:

“Care should be maintained around the farmyard when clearing up after the storm. Falls represent the single biggest threat during any clean-up period after such storms and appropriate care needs to be taken to avoid such occurrences.”

Any attempts to remove snow from roofs of farm buildings should be avoided.  Repairs to buildings and equipment should be carried by appropriately qualified personnel.

With a thaw there will be significant volumes of slush and water to deal with, so it will be particularly important to ensure drains and gullies are clear to prevent flooding of tanks.

Further advice on farming during severe weather conditions is available on the Teagasc website.

Animal Welfare

The Department’s 24-hour animal welfare helpline continues to be monitored and this will remain the case over the coming days. Members of the public with any concerns can contact the Department’s helpline on: call save 0761 064408 or 01-6072379.

There have been 40 calls to the helpline since Wednesday, all of which have been appropriately responded to.

As a matter of course, water troughs should continue to be checked twice daily advises the Department and any ice on external troughs is broken as needed.

Operational Issues For Industry:

Subject to local conditions being suitable, most meat plants are resuming operations today (Monday).

Milk collections have been curtailed in certain areas due to access difficulties.  Milk collection has now resumed throughout most of the country.

However, the situation remains challenging in some areas in the south-east and on higher ground. The Department is coordinating with the dairy industry, and with other Government agencies, to expedite collections.

The six Fishery Harbour Centres are now operating as normal.

The author: Nick Fitzgerald