As efforts continue to alleviate the worst affects of the fodder crisis, facilities that process dead farm animals are reporting they are busier than ever.

John Hastings, who collects dead animals from farms for processing at his family knackery in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, said they have been extremely busy for the past three weeks and are dealing with double the number of animals they would normally expect for this time of year.

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He added some days they might take in close to 200 carcasses.

One farm organisation has linked the increased animal deaths to the fodder crisis, the months' of bad weather and resulting increased animal diseases.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA) is calling for a rethink on the rapid expansion taking place in Irish agriculture, that has seen farm size and animal numbers increasing but leaves farmers vulnerable when problems arise. 

ICSA President Patrick Kent said farmers should be wary of pressure to continue expanding especially when the prices they get for produce need to improve.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said the department's Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council operates an Early Warning System that monitors the welfare situation and funds emergency purchase of feed when required.

The statement added that the department's local offices are very mindful of the pressure arising from the continued bad weather and will offer any assistance they can to alleviate animal welfare situations developing on farms.