Livestock cuts in the climate change plan will not be forced on farmers, Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue has vowed.
cConalogue is expected to have a sector action plan ready for Cabinet tomorrow, which must outline how agriculture will reduce its emissions by 25 per cent over the decade.
The minister yesterday dismissed speculation that livestock could be reduced by 10 per cent under the plan, instead stressing that the sector has already committed to a 10 per cent reduction in methane by 2030. But he said that didn’t directly correlate to a 10 percent reduction in numbers.
“I am committed to fulfilling the three pillars of sustainability in agriculture – ecologically, socially and above all economically.
“There will be no measure in the climate protection plan that will be forced on farmers. All measures will be voluntary and aim to support our farmers to continue producing top-quality food while diversifying income streams through tillage, energy production and forestry,” the minister added.
Actions under the new plan are likely to focus on recent reports from high-level dairy and beef industry committees that have outlined options for the sector to meet its targets in recent weeks.
Measures included programs that would pay farmers to reduce livestock numbers, lower the age at which cattle are slaughtered, and significantly reduce the use of chemical fertilizers on farms.
The main farming organizations all distanced themselves from the groups’ final report, while Meat Industry Ireland (MII), representing meat processors, said the inclusion of measures aimed at incentivising a reduction in the suckler herd would reduce the economic contribution and viability of would endanger the beef sector
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/forestry-enviro/environment/farmers-will-not-be-forced-to-cut-livestock-under-climate-action-plan-42230828.html Farmers “will not be forced” to cut back on livestock under the climate action plan