€3bn sector supports 52,000 jobs
Independent TD Denis Naughten has called on the Government not to sacrifice Irish suckler farmers in order to meet any EU Commission proposals that would blame the sector for climate emissions from the agriculture industry.
“The Government climate plan published this week has set a target of reducing agriculture emissions by 10% by 2030. Yet, based on calf registrations, we have seen suckler cow emission reductions of 5% in 2018 alone and if the 2019 trend continues we will have achieved our 13-year target for the suckler sector in just 24 months,” explained Denis Naughten.
“It would therefore be dishonest to use the global climate crisis to sacrifice a suckler beef sector that has already reduced emissions and has the potential to become much more carbon efficient through grassland management.
“We must remember that the suckler industry supports 52,000 jobs and is worth €3bn to the rural economy. By shutting down the suckler beef industry we will force tens of thousands of people working in our local towns and rural communities to commute long distances to gain alternative employment in our cities adding to congestion and transport emissions.
“If we listen to some national politicians they seem to want to replace suckler cows with sika spruce but they are ignoring the drastic impact that this will have on jobs and the local economy particularly in the Midlands and West of Ireland”.