Mr Allister was pleased to accept an invitation from the Ulster Farmers ‘Union and the Farmers’ Association of Northern Ireland (NIAPA) to attend a local farmers briefing on Friday.
The event took place at a farm in Loughguile and centered on Clare Bailey’s climate change bill, which has’ co-sponsors from Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the Ulster Unionist Party and the ‘Alliance’.
The MP for North Antrim commented: “The event was most informative and once again reminded me of the craziness and utter danger of this bill.
“If this bill passes, it will devastate our agricultural industry, necessitating unsustainable reduction in livestock levels, importation of foreign food – with a huge carbon footprint – and massive job losses in the agri-food sector. “
Mr Allister said the farmers present had not lost sight of the fact that “some politicians and parties have spoken from both sides of the mouth” on the issue.
“They said, ‘Oh, we’re going to take care of the agricultural sector. We will consult. We’re going to make sure these things don’t happen ”.
“However, it is very clear what will happen if the bill passes.”
He continued, “You cannot proclaim, for the sake of your riding, that you will protect your farming community if you go through a lobby to vote for something that will devastate your farming community.
“I’m saying the answer is not to take 50 percent or more of our animals and slaughter them or take 50 percent of our production and export it to the depleted rainforests of Brazil and then s’ sit smugly and say: aren’t we doing well? ‘.
“This is the philosophy of the bill.
“It boils down to this: Are our constituents buying the high quality meat produced in North Antrim or meat produced on land that has been stripped in the Amazon Basin? “
The MP said it was an issue that politicians, “including those like Philip McGuigan who champion this absurd bill”, must consider.
“I thank the farmers of the Loughguile region who took the time to point out to the invited MPs the very clear and real dangers of this bill, and I hope those who chose not to attend, like Mr. McGuigan, will understand the message nonetheless, ”Mr. Allister said in conclusion.
The Assembly’s Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee published its report on the Climate Change Bill (No.1) last week. You can read more about the results here.