Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan stresses that nobody has to kill their cattle herds

Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan has insisted no farmer will be forced to reduce or cull his cattle herds as talks to cut farm emissions by up to 30 per cent continue.

Negotiations between Mr Ryan, leader of the Greens, and Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue ended yesterday without agreement on ambitious emissions reduction targets for the sector.

However, Mr Ryan moved last night to allay lingering fears from the farming lobby and coalition backbenchers that he wants a forced reduction or even culling of the national herd by insisting farmers be “well paid” to move to more sustainable practices.

“As more farmers switch to these viable alternatives, by choosing to use more land for energy production or storage, they may find they don’t need the same number of animals.

“Any change in animal numbers will be natural and not forced,” he said Irish Independent.

He said reducing carbon emissions across the economy would be done in a way that would increase farm income and protect the Irish family farm.

“We will offer farmers the opportunity to diversify and strengthen their income by producing clean, sustainable food together with clean, sustainable energy at a premium price,” he said.

“With support, farmers can participate in anaerobic digestion, which uses grass or manure to produce home-grown gas that is sold into the grid.

“They can apply their skills and knowledge to small-scale forest planting, such as E.g. planting along rivers or rewetting land to sequester carbon.”

Discussions over the controversial farming emissions cap will continue in the coming days, with government sources last night insisting the talks were “constructive”.

Agreement is also expected to be reached next week on how sector-by-sector reductions will help meet the target of a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Mr McConalogue is under pressure from the farming lobby and backbenchers in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to agree to just a 22 percent emissions cut for the rest of the decade, while Mr Ryan wants a 30 percent emissions cut.

https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/no-one-will-have-to-cull-their-cattle-herds-insists-environment-minister-eamon-ryan-41856549.html Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan stresses that nobody has to kill their cattle herds

Fry Electronics Team

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