Dairy and beef farmers should not be made targets in plans for Climate Action, Galway East TD and Minister for Rural Affairs Seán Canney has said.
His comments follow recommendations from the Climate Change Advisory Council that suckler numbers should be reduced to cut carbon emissions.
“The EU Joint Research Centre Report of 2010 found that Ireland is the most carbon-efficient country in the European Union per unit of dairy production and the fifth most carbon-efficient producer of beef per kilogramme.
“Our farmers are leaders in both agricultural innovation and Climate Action technology in their sector. They buy in completely to the need for Climate Action but these kind of recommendations make no sense,” he said, assing that cutting suckler numbers to either increase dairy numbers or promote inefficient production of beef elsewhere in the world is ill-conceived.
“This is the same jeopardy that we have with the Mercosur deal between the EU and four South American countries. Our beef is produced to the highest standards with an emphasis on safety and quality. I am very concerned that the international beef trade will become contaminated with inferior product because of a lack of traceability and lower standards in other countries.”It is all very well giving assurances that only beef reared to European standards will be allowed into the EU but how will it be enforced?” he concluded.