Collection services in Portlaoise are struggling to cope with ‘enormous backlog’ of fallen cows and sheep.
John Styles from John Styles & Sons told the Farming Independent that he has never witnessed such large numbers of farm animals, especially cows and sheep, arriving for processing at his premises.
They put the influx of fallen stock down to the recent storms.
According to the Irish Independent, John Styles & Sons is currently dealing with between 130 and 170 fallen animals a day.
“We are trying to provide a valuable service but it is proving impossible at the moment,” Mr Styles told the paper.
“Usually we might get one or two dead cows from a farmer during the season, but at the moment that can be anything up to seven or eight.”
More losses to come in the coming weeks
Mr Styles warned that farmers battling fodder shortages are likely to suffer even more losses in the coming weeks, which will in turn put his knackery under further pressure.
He also said that they are struggling to keep up with demand and get staff working overtime.
“We are currently working seven days a week and simply cannot keep up with the demand. We just do not have enough staff and cannot get enough drivers to do collections and deliveries to the rendering plant,” John said in the interview.
Although the storms may be over for now, the aftermath of Storm Emma is not yet over.
“Farmers are still finding dead sheep on their land, weeks after the last storm has passed. And that situation is likely to get worse as fodder supplies begin to dry up,” said John.
“My heart really goes out to these men and women who have had the worst winter,” he added.
The pressure on knackeries comes as fodder shortages worsen with poor grass growth and land conditions there is now even more pressure on knackeries.