Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy this week met with representatives of the Irish Farmers Association in the European Parliament in Brussles.
Last Monday evening, the IFA representatives attended an event to promote European Agri produce. They were promoting the benefits of a sustainable EU livestock sector for rural areas, for a healthy diet and for growth and jobs. Irish beef was, of course, top of the menu.
On Tuesday MEPs met with the IFA representatives to discuss a number of pieces of legislation going through the European Parliament related to animal health (Animal Health Law, Veterinary Medicines Regulation and the Official Controls Regulation). All of these pieces of legislation are at different stages of the legislative process and have the potential to have a large impact on farmers. They will affect trading practices (both internally and externally of the EU), prescription processes for when animals become ill and controls at various other stages of the lifetime of the animal.
As presently Irish regulation on these matters is quite far apart from other EU countries, the final outcome in negotiations on these files could mean big changes in the operations of Irish farmers.
Mr. Carthy has offered assurances that he will, as a member of the Agriculture & Rural Development Committee, work to ensure that the final outcome of these regulations does not over-burden farmers with additional charges or unnecessary bureaucracy while maintaining the objective of protecting animal health.