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Tractors and livestock are still big killers

Francis Farragher

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Machinery and animals are still the big killers.

MACHINERY and livestock continue to be the two big killers on Irish farms so far this year, according to the latest figures released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

So far in 2015, there have been no farm fatalities in Galway with the deaths spread across 12 counties – last week health and safety representatives from both sides of the Border shared ideas on how to improve farm safety.

Tractors, machinery and vehicles accounted for six of the fifteen deaths so far this year followed by livestock (4), drowning/suffocation (2), falls (2) while one man died after being crushed.

Brian Higgisson, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, said that farmers know what the issues are on their farms, but some seem unable or unwilling to take preventative action.

“Farmers need to change how they do things so that every job, big or small, is done within a culture of safety first – every time.

“We simply can’t keep on losing lives every year through accidents that are completely preventable,” he said.

Three out of the 15 deaths last year on Irish farms involved children or teenagers under the age of 18 while four farmers, aged 65 or over, also perished.

The deaths included a two-year-old and a four-year-old while at the other end of the age spectrum an 82-year-old farmer in Kerry died after being crushed by his tractor.

The following is a summary of the 2015 farm deaths:

■ January, Kilkenny, farmer 61, crushed by a slurry tanker that rolled down a bank.

■ January, Kerry farmer, 82, pinned by his tractor that rolled back as he was feeding cattle.

■ February, Wexford farmer, 42, trapped in the opening of a 600 litre tank used in his milk cleaning system.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Call for a policy review as TB figures shoot up

Francis Farragher

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Stephen Canavan: Farmers paying the price for TB failings.

THE Dept. of Agriculture must take a fundamental look at where things are going wrong with their bovine TB (bTB) eradication scheme, following the publication of the latest figure showing another increase in the spread of the disease.

Galway IFA Animal Health Committee Chairman, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that the latest figures released by the Department were alarming, showing a major increase in the incidence of the disease in the first six months of 2020 as compared to the same period last year.

For the first six months of 2020, there were 9,439 reactors were identified in the Republic of Ireland, up 2,350 as compared to the same period last year – an increase of 33%.

Parts of Galway continue to be hard hit by disease most notably in a strip of the county from the Mayo/Roscommon border to south of Athenry – and in a strip of South Galway extending through central Clare.

“TB outbreaks have been very bad news for many farmers across Galway and especially suckler farmers who find their herds locked up for long periods of time.

“Farmers are doing everything that’s being asked of them but the time has come for the Department to have a fundamental look at what’s going wrong.

“They have to have a look again at their policy on wildlife and its role in the spread of the disease. Their strategy is simply not working and farmers are paying the price in the hardship and financial cost of having herds locked up,” said Stephen Canavan.

He also said that there was a need to review the level of compensation being paid to farmers for reactors while there were ongoing laboratory delays in giving final confirmations of whether an animal had TB or not.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

New REPS is key to survival

Francis Farragher

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Pictured is IFA President Tim Cullinan in Connemara with the 12 Pins in the background along with Gerry Gunning, Executive Secretary IFA Hill Committee; Pat Murphy, Connacht IFA Chairman; Caillin Conneely, Chairman Connemara IFA; Anne Mitchell, Chairperson Galway IFA; Flor McCarthy, National Chairman, IFA Hill Committee; Tim Cullinan; Eamon Nee, Galway IFA Hill Committee Chairman; Michael Biggins, IFA National Chairman Rural Development Committee; Martin Mannion, Connemara IFA and Rose Mary McDonagh, National Chairperson IFA Farm Business Committee.

A MEANINGFUL environmental scheme to replace GLAS – with the maximum payment doubling to €10,000 – is a main priority of the IFA, the Association’s President, Tim Cullinan told farmers on a visit to the West earlier this month

He said that such a scheme must recognise the contribution farmers make to protecting the environment and the provision of public good.

The IFA President said that further SAC designations were unacceptable and he called on the new Minister for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan to immediately clarify the position of the National Parks and Wildlife service.

“Farm incomes are under serious pressure and the value of direct payments are vital to the survival of farming in peripheral areas. Supports to farm income alongside production is what hill farmers need,” he said.

“It is only through a combination of cattle and sheep production, direct payments and a strong environmental scheme in the forthcoming CAP negotiations that this will be achieved.

“Hill sheep production is the main enterprise among the 30,000 farmers who farm and protect the environment in hill and mountain grazing areas,” said Tim Cullinan.

He also warned that the impact of a no-deal Brexit would be felt on all farms and particularly the most vulnerable ones such as in mountain and hill areas. The IFA were now seeking Government commitments on the following five issues:

■ A meaningful environmental scheme to replace GLAS with the maximum payment doubling to €10,000.

■ The new REPS scheme promised in the Programme for Government must be added to any CAP agri-environmental scheme and must reward farmers for sequestering carbon.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

New farm safety video gets 200,000 hits in first month

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Machinery continues to be the big killer on Irish farms.

A NEW farm safety video launched earlier last month has already attracted 200,000 hits as the message continues to be driven home about the loss of life on Irish farms.

Director of Embrace FARM, Peter Gohery, told the Farming Tribune that the #SpeakUp for #FarmSafety was another important step along the way in increasing awareness of the dangers lurking on every farm.

“This video stemmed from the experiences of five young lads going to Nenagh CBS who had been touched in some way by farm accidents. It’s very well done and gets the message across about reducing risks on Irish farms.

“The fact that the video comes from young lads of this age group also means that it will reach a large young audience and they are a vital cohort of people to get through to on the whole issue of farm safety,” said Peter Gohery.

The Eyrecourt farmer – himself involved in a farm accident that led to a leg amputation – said that while some of the video might be ‘tough watching’ it got the message out there about the consequences of farm accidents.

With Farm Safety Week 2020 continuing on until this Friday, the video production as well as involving the AgriKids group also has an input from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the IFA, Embrace FARM and An Garda Síochána.

One of the main points being made in the video is the need for the public to ‘speak up’ if they witness any unsafe behaviour on Irish farms that has the potential to cause death or injury. Such concerns can be emailed onto: hsa.ie/complaint.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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