Authorities defend action in controversial Co Monaghan farm cull of five animals

The Defence Forces carried out the humane cull of five animals on Co Monaghan farm due to a significant concern for public safety.

Minister of State for Justice David Stanton, in a Dáil statement last week on behalf of the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, said this action was carried out at the request of the official assignee in bankruptcy, who is responsible for the herd of cattle on that farm, and it was done in conjunction with An Garda Síochána and with the Department of Agriculture and with the Defence Forces.

Following failed efforts to round up the remaining five animals and in view of a significant concern about public safety, on July 4, and at the request of the official assignee, a decision was taken involving the Garda, the official assignee and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that the optimal course of action was that these animals should be culled, said the Cork East, Fine Gael TD.

He confirmed the herd was TB-restricted herd, and the carcasses of the five cattle have been removed and are excluded from the food chain.

“The official assignee in bankruptcy is an officer of the court, as provided at section 60 (6) of the Bankruptcy Acts, and as such is independent in the performance of his duties,” said Mr Stanton.

However, he is required to observe and obey directions given to him by the court, and is also subject to all laws of the State. 

Mr Stanton explained that when when a person is adjudicated bankrupt, all of his/her assets transfer to the official assignee, who ascertains the debts and liabilities, and distributes the assets.

The duties as well as the rights of the bankrupt person also transfer over to the official assignee, including duties which are associated with cattle such as their registration, TB testing, etc.

The assignee can be sued for any breach of his/her legal obligations. In this case, it was a matter for the official assignee to discharge his legal responsibilities as best he could in difficult circumstances.

Kerry Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said suckler calves can be wild, but he did not know anyone who had a small bit of expertise and cop-on having any difficulty handling them.


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