Local Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan, has spoken of his anger and those similar sentiments of his fellow farmers for the manner in which Irish agriculture was apportioned blame for climate change in a series of programmes broadcast on RTE television in recent times.
“I am furious at the negative slant RTE apportioned to the role of agriculture and climate change on programmes broadcast recently. The suggestion that we need to reduce the national herd by two million head out of seven million is just absurd. In my view, there was a clear anti-farmer agenda and a total lack of factual information.
“In the programme ‘Hot Air-Ireland’s Climate Crisis’, the presenter, Philip Boucher Hayes, and his “expert” suggested that the national herd needs to be reduced by two million cattle and that the increase in the national herd due to the expansion of dairying was causing this.
“I was surprised and disappointed that Mr. Boucher Hayes did not have any representative from Teagasc on the show in order to give the facts. Research from Laurence Shaloo based in Moorepark tells us that Ireland’s agricultural sector today has marginally lower emissions than in 1990 but is producing 61 percent extra dairy, 13 percent extra beef and 58 percent extra pork these time. In my view, agriculture has already got carbon efficient at producing the best food in the world. In fact, Irish milk has the lowest carbon per Litre in the EU,” Cllr. Dolan emphasised.
From a financial and climate perspective, Ireland is the most efficient producers of food, the Fine Gael Councillor noted.
“Ireland exports 90 percent of our agricultural produce all over the world. We are the most efficient producers of food both from a financial and a climate perspective, we always have looked after the environment and will continue to do so.
“Unfortunately, it seems to me that the journalists in Dublin 4 don’t seem to want to highlight the work being done by the agricultural industry to limit our carbon footprint and do our part as an industry to help climate change. I do hope in any future programmes that RTE they will give a balanced view,” Cllr. Dolan concluded.