December 15, 2011
Ireland's pork supply may be disrupted during Christmas
Vets who are intending to go on strike may cause disruption to the supply of pork, beef and lamb as Christmas approaches.
The vets are logging heads with the Department of Agriculture over changing who carries out meat inspections. The dispute is over permitting technical agricultural officers and industry staff, and not vets, to carry out meat inspections. The inspections involve the checks for meat quality and possible contaminations.
As it stands, 700 temporary veterinarians who are contracted privately have been carrying out the inspections, which cost about EUR18 million (US$23 million) per year. With this cost in mind, the Department wants to lower the amount spent with officials that cost less.