A strike at 38 knackeries around the country is continuing, after operators claimed their businesses were unsustainable due to severe financial pressures.

The action means that dead animals are not being collected and processed in the usual manner. It's estimated around 1,000 animals would typically be handled by knackeries around the country each day.

The dispute centres on concerns over the assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture to the operators.

A full cessation of services commenced on Tuesday.

The Chairman of the Animal Collectors' Association said small family run businesses were no longer viable enterprises.

Michael McKeever says the businesses will remain shut until there is some movement from Government.

The Association says there's been no engagement from the Department on responding to their concerns.

Knackery owners say they're frustrated at the Department's failure to address several issues, some of them dating back to 2009.

Those centre on changes to the Fallen Animals Scheme, when funding for the collection of animals was reduced.

The Association claims there's been an 81% reduction in State funding since then.

Around 300,000 dead animals were handled by knackeries around the country last year.

Since 2013, a limit on the distance allowable for travel between knackeries and rendering yards has further complicated the task of operators.  

Mr McKeever also said the hide trade had collapsed to the point where "they can't be given away".

Knackeries facilitate BSE testing and deal with the disposal of all dead farm animals.