Fine Gael TD for Limerick Tom Neville called for the veterinary laboratory there to remain open in the Dáil this week.
Deputy Neville said: “I have received representations from people in the County Clare side of Limerick relating to the veterinary laboratory there. We would strongly oppose its closure.”
Fine Gael TD for Wicklow and Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, said he took Deputy Neville’s points on board and said his Department’s consultation will have to reflect them.
He also thanked the Deputy for raising the concerns of the Mid West.
Consultations with stakeholders are currently taking place on the report of a working group on the future of the labs which are located in Limerick, Athlone, Cork, Celbridge, Kilkenny and Sligo.
Deputy Neville said: “It makes no sense to close down laboratories which play such a vital role in maintaining the positive image of our national herd.
“The regional veterinary laboratory in Limerick has been a vital service for the farmers of the Mid West region in helping them to identify and remedy animal health problems which adversely affected their incomes.
“The Limerick laboratory also plays a significant role in helping to protect Ireland’s animal health status which is a major positive marketing tool in promoting the country’s food products on a worldwide basis”.