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Mass Die-off: Diseased Carcasses Removed by Truckload

Posted by feww on May 26, 2013

Livestock in Ireland decimated by fodder crisis

Livestock are dying in large numbers on farms due to the shortage of grass and fodder, and imported hay “is leaving animals more vulnerable to disease and infection,” said a report.

The number of mortalities of cattle in the first four months of this year has risen by a staggering 31 percent to 152,000, up 36,000 compared with the same period in 2012, according to the official figures released by the Department of Agriculture.

A knackery in east Galway has reported a 100 per cent increase in activity, “with queues of lorries forming to unload carcasses.”

As winter continues to persist over large tracts of the Irish countryside the lack of fodder has left tens of thousands of farmers despondent,  despite large imports of  French hay and British silage, said the report.

The cost to the Irish economy is put at €1bn [$1.3bn,] for the disastrous summer of 2012 and the “everlasting” winter this year.

The disaster has been described as “the single biggest crisis in Irish agriculture for years,” by the Irish Farmers Association deputy president, who described the situation as “very very bad.”

While religious vigils are being held in Counties Cork and Kerry and special Masses in Mayo, with the farmers praying for better weather, a scientist has suggested that the  problem is due to the persistent anti-cyclones that have become “locked” over Ireland bringing cold, dry polar air, instead of the warm moist air from the south which is the norm for this time of year.

“Whether it is due to something that is ‘gone’ in our climate as a result of climate change or not is open to speculation. There is some research linking the location and weakness of the jet stream to the south with the removal of the summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean,” said Prof. John Sweeney of National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

“It is very tentative as yet, but it is being suggested that the loss of all that shiny snow and the warming up of the northern ocean is reducing the need for our depressions to whistle by us as normal. Instead, it is making the jet stream weaker and a bit more inclined to get locked in strange positions.”

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