Updated: 10/12/12 : 14:58:07
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Sligo to lose Govt. blood lab facility

Senator Marc Mac Sharry has today called on Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, Simon Coveneny, TD, to immediately reverse his plans to centralise brucellosis blood testing in his own county of Cork and closing blood testing services in the Regional Laboratory in Doonally, Sligo.

“Following my statement  a month ago on this issues rumours of imminent consolidation have proven correct with the transfer of blood testing from regional centres including Sligo”

“This is the thin end of the wedge and casts serious doubt over the laboratory’s future in Sligo.  With the transfer of brucellosis and other blood testing to the central location in the Minister’s home county Farmer’s will now have to send samples to Cork adding significant delay to those needing to test particularly those who may be involved in exporting. The provision of post mortem and sample testing are critically important in the continuing good health of the national herd and the closure of the regional services will undermine the potential to maintain the good health of the herd.

In addition It now seems clear that only BVD testing will be carried out in Sligo.  This effectively cuts the numbers of tests down from in the region of 180,000 per annum to just 20,000 per annum.  This puts in jeopardy jobs at the Lab not least its very future.  

Mac Sharry continued,“the Labour and Fine Gael Government are relentless in their contempt for rural Ireland. Their continuing marginalisation of rural communities through cuts to small schools; closure of 100 additional Garda stations ;   dismissal of the small famer with their CAP reform proposals; their discriminatory and unworkable commonage management plan; and now the closure of Blood Testing at the Sligo Lab. Enough is enough.

I am calling on the Minister to immediately reverse plans for the transfer of blood testing to Cork from Sligo.