IFA calls for Minister to ‘come clean’ on climate plans 

IFA President Tim Cullinan has called on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to “come clean” on the Department’s position on how sectoral emission ceilings for agriculture will be achieved.

  His comments come after it emerged that the Department of Agriculture has been analysing the cost of a drastic cow reduction scheme.

  Documents released to the Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act show proposals were put forward some months ago which Mr. Cullinan says, undermine the dairy sector and devastate the suckler sector. 

  IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said that the reported planned reduction in the suckler herd was astonishing and would eliminate the sector entirely. 

  “At a time when the Minister should have been focused on securing funding for the Beef Environment and Efficiency Programme for Sucklers in the Budget, we see that the Department is working behind the scenes to pull the rug from the entire sector. This would devastate farming, but also rural Ireland,” he said.  

  IFA Dairy Chairman Stephen Arthur said that the Department appears “hell bent” on reducing numbers. 

  “The changes in the Nitrates directive are already impacting heavily on the dairy sector.  Now we see what is going on behind the scenes,” he said.