Greater supports required for the poultry industry

The report states that the biggest threat to the poultry sector in Ireland is that of disease outbreak and the associated economic implications.

A local TD says it is vital that key recommendations contained within the Hennessy report must be actioned as a matter of urgency.

The ‘Economic Importance of the Poultry Sector in Ireland’ report by Professor Thia Hennessy provides an assessment of the current status of the poultry sector in Ireland and its importance in terms of economic and non-economic outputs and impacts.

It also outlines some of the biggest threats facing the industry, remarks Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and North Meath, Niamh Smyth.

The report states that the biggest threat to the poultry sector in Ireland is that of disease outbreak and the associated economic implications.

It goes on to say that the level of concentration and integration of the sector is such that disease poses a catastrophic risk to the sector. The Avian Influenza outbreak of 2020, while not posing a threat to human health, did highlight the vulnerability of the sector and the considerable costs of disease control.

Commenting Deputy Smyth said: “I understand that, internationally, governments have established co-financed funds with industry to improve disease control and mitigate its financial impact. Professor Hennessy makes the point that the establishment of a co-financed poultry health fund for Ireland would support the sustainability of the sector and the security and affordability of supply for the Irish consumer.”

'Having recently wrote to the Minister to highlight the importance of the poultry industry in the constituency of Cavan-Monaghan, Deputy Smith claims: “The sector is at a loss to understand why such funds exist elsewhere in the EU yet support is not forthcoming for such a fund in Ireland, as am I, frankly.

“I am calling on the Minister to engage with the Hennessy report and action the key recommendations so that future disease outbreaks can be avoided or quickly extinguished to protect the broader poultry sector,” she concluded.

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