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Farmers on night watch as cattle thefts continue

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CATTLE valued at around €6,000 have been stolen from a South Galway farm as landowners have again been asked to be vigilant in relation to the theft of animals.

Six animals were stolen from a farm near Gort and the public have been asked to provide information as to their whereabouts. It is suspected that the cattle may have been slaughtered – or have their tags changed by the thieves – who are understood to have struck at 4 o clock in the morning in the middle of last week.

The five bullocks and one heifer were taken from lands in the Raheen area – not far from Coole Park – near Gort. The owner of the lands lives in the Castlegar area near Galway city.

It follows the theft of 45 sheep from Headford Mart last month as Garda investigations continue into the disappearance of farm animals in recent weeks.

But the recent theft of animals has left the local farming community concerned and already it has resulted in round the clock vigils taking place.

Farmers in the area are now concerned over the thefts of animals and are now organising a 24 hour monitoring of farms in the area to prevent another such occurrence from taking place.

Cllr. Michael Fahy said that it was a despicable crime and one that should be resisted at all costs. “It seems that nothing is safe at the moment,” he remarked.

He said that there had been a significant increase in the number of animals stolen from farms in recent months and now farmers had no option but to keep a round the clock watch on their property.

“It is a sad day when farmers have to monitor their property on a round the clock basis and hopefully these criminals will be apprehended by the Gardai,” Cllr. Fahy added.

In this latest incident, gates into the land were uprooted by the thieves who then loaded the cattle onto large trucks or trailers.

The latest theft of animals follows the removal of 32 lambs and 13 ewes that had been left in a field owned by Headford Mart last month.

Management at the mart were shocked by the theft and a special appeal was issued to farmers and people in the Headford area to try and recall if they noticed anything suspicious in the area at the time the sheep were stolen.

A couple of months ago, four animals were stolen from the Eyrecourt area. They included three black whitehead bullocks and a black Limousin weighing up to 650kgs.

Last June, four suckler cows valued in the region of €7,000 were stolen from a field in the Castlegar area, near Galway city. The cows were stolen from a field that a local farmer had rented – they were loaded and removed in the dead of night.

Connacht Tribune

Worry of walkers claiming against farmers

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Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy

FARMERS in hill-walk areas such as Connemara need to have their concerns allayed about insurance indemnification, the IFA has warned this week.

A pilot insurance project for farmers – as outlined by Rural and Community Development Minister, Heather Humphrey – is in the pipeline but has not yet been enacted into legislation.

Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy, said that farmers in such areas needed the clear reassurance that if walkers on their farm had a fall or mishap, then the landowners would not be liable for any compensation.

“This really is a red line issue for farmers and landowners. They must be guaranteed in law that if hill-walkers are allowed on their lands that no liability will attach to the landowner if something happens,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that while farmers supported the principle of people being able to access the more scenic areas of the countryside, the issue of insurance indemnification had to be crystal clear.

“We also know that the issue of dogs being let roam by people out on country walks is one that needs to be addressed.

“The first thing a dog will do that’s let roam free will be to follow the nearest animal they see, and this is a major worry especially for sheep farmers,” said Pat Murphy.

Meanwhile, National Hill Committee Chairman Flor McCarthy has expressed concerns about recreational users not abiding by the Countryside Code during the recent spell of good weather.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Now is the right time to plan ahead for next year’s crop of Spring lambs

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The boss is around: Prepare early for the breeding season. Photo: Compliments of Agriland.

IT might still only be Midsummer, but a Teagasc specialist has advised sheep farmers that now is the time to start planning ahead for the upcoming breeding season.

Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep Knowledge Transfer, said that while most people considered the breeding season to be just the five to six weeks that the rams were out with the ewes, in reality it was much longer.

“The breeding season for next year’s lamb crop actually starts once the current year’s lamb crop is weaned,” Michael Gottstein has advised in the Summer edition of the Teagasc magazine, Today’s Farm.

He outlined three key Summer dates for sheep farmers – late June/early July for weaning and checking on the condition of the ewes; early July for a ram health check; and late July/early August when the ram sales kick off.

The Teagasc specialist said that productive ewes will require about 10 weeks of good grass after weaning to regain body weight lost during pregnancy and lactation.

“Contrary to what many farmers think, it is not a good idea to allow ewes to lose weight post-weaning. Thin ewes that do not regain body condition after six weeks of good grass should be culled,” said Michael Gottstein.

He also advised that rams should be checked in early July for lameness, body condition, as well as for signs of disease or injury – while, like the ewes, they needed time to regain body condition.

“Identify how many, if any, replacements (rams) are required and purchase them early, so that they have the best chance of acclimatising to their new environment and feeding regime,” he added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Fair Deal reached as Bill is enacted

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Maura Canning: Good day expected.
Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson

RELIEF has been expressed this week in farming and political circles that at last the Fair Deal Nursing Home legislations changes have been passed by the Oireachtas.

The Bill went through the Dáil last Thursday and the Seanad on Friday, bringing to a conclusion a campaign that started back in 2012.

Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson, told the Farming Tribune there was a great sense of relief that a nine-year long campaign had at last got over the line.

“It has been such a long and difficult campaign to secure this deal with a lot of complications and obstacles along the way. At times, we seemed to be almost there, until something happened to hold up the process, but there really was a great sense of relief last Friday when the Bill at last passed through its final stages,” said Maura Canning.

She paid a particular to former Minister of State, Jim Daly; the current incumbent Mary Butler; and also to the many TDs and Senators that had been lobbied over the years on the issue. “No TD ever failed to return a call,” she said.

The key change in the new Bill is that there will be a three-year cap on the 7.5% annual contribution of the overall value of the farm where the farmer or their spouse is in a nursing home. There are a number of conditions attached to this CAP, the most significant of which is the fact that the farm must be signed over fully to the inheritor for a five-year period and this person must also continue farming on the land.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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