The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has ‘out of hand’ rejected European Commission proposals to introduce emissions permits for livestock farming, says the chairman of the cattle committee , Edmund Graham.
New proposals would introduce emissions permits for farms with more than 150 cattle units, however, said Graham, these do not consider that extensive farms could exceed that number and still have a low stocking rate.
Permits will add unacceptable costs, additional paperwork and additional stress to small and medium family farms, according to the ICSA president. He added:
“Worse still, it will lead to an appalling sight of potential objections and interference with basic agriculture by all manner of mischievous troublemakers.”
The ICSA president criticized the European Union (EU) for “trying to put all the blame for climate change on livestock” when other countries are heavily dependent on gas, oil and Russian coal.
Countries including Germany, according to Graham, continue to import fossil fuels, while Ireland faces the consequences of Brussels blaming EU livestock farmers.
He added that the commission is becoming increasingly detached from people in rural communities across Europe:
“If there was real intent, then every farmer would have a realistic incentive to cover shed roofs with solar panels and develop the biogas and biofuel sectors – but that’s not happening.”
Politicians from all sides in the European Parliament have recently declared that meat is a problem not only with climate change but with food security, resulting from the terrible events in Ukraine, according to the chairman of beef.
He added that Irish MEPs must do more and stand up for sustainable grass-based farming, and called on all politicians to oppose planet-saving charges, which he said did not really have nothing to do with the problem.
“The reality is that we need to go further to support Irish beef, mutton and dairy production to contribute significantly to EU food security, instead of trying to undermine it at every turn” , said the ICSA president.