Herd the good news? Kilkenny gets new regional lab as part of €33.5m investment
A NEW regional laboratory will be developed in Kilkenny which will further improve animal diagnostic services for the county, Minister John Paul Phelan confirmed today.
The new facility is included as part of Project Ireland 2040, details of which were confirmed by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.
The development of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Regional Laboratories involves an estimated capital investment of €33.5 million in rebuilding the Laboratory Network over the next 10 years.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister Phelan (pictured below) said: “This investment is needed in Kilkenny and it safeguards the service for the farmers of the surrounding hinterland into the future. It will help make the service more accessible to more farmers into the future.
“Ease of access to laboratory services is one of the key concerns of the farming community. On completion of this plan in 2028, 98% of registered herd owners will be within a one-hour drive of one of four regional laboratories or one of five carcase transfer centres that will be established in the border counties and along the Western seaboard,” Minister Phelan added.
The investment in the Regional Laboratory Network will come in five incremental stages over the next decade, beginning with the establishment of a helpline and the first two carcase transfer centres before the end of 2020.
This will be followed by the replacement of existing facilities in Kilkenny and Sligo plus the establishment of enlarged laboratories in Co Cork and in Athlone.