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‘A fast one pulled’ on Minister’s TB diktat

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Pat Whelan 'throws his eye' on the cattle at last weekend's mart in Loughrea. PHOTO: HANY MARZOUK.

AGRICULTURE Minister, Simon Coveney, has been accused of using ‘a sledgehammer to crack a nut’ with the introduction of new regulations in relation to the bovine TB eradication scheme that could have disastrous implications for West of Ireland farmers.

Co. Galway IFA Livestock Committee Chairman, Michael Flynn, told the Farming Tribune that Minister Coveney had completely ignored a submission by IFA in relation to the TB scheme and seemed ‘hell bent’ on imposing the maximum financial penalty on farmers by ‘pulling a fast one’ with his new regulations.

“This whole business was handled very badly by the Minister. There’s been no consultation whatsoever with farmers – it’s just a diktat that being announced and it really has serious implications for dairy and beef/suckler farmers,” said Michael Flynn.

He outlined three main points of the Ministerial Regulation signed into law in the middle of February by Minister Coveney as follows:

Farmers who have completed two clear tests after having a reactor will now only have a 90 day window to sell cattle before having another test.

The Dept. are now stating that a farmer ‘may carry the cost’ of having second or more tests in the one year. The current agreement is that the farmer only pays for one test in any year.

A ceiling of €2,800 has been placed on the compensation payable for an animal (€3,500 max. for bulls) with a valuer now being accompanied by a Dept. of Agriculture inspector.

Michael Flynn said that they were also very concerned at consideration being given by the Dept. to a 10 month lock-up period for herds after the completion of two clear tests.

“We met with Government TDs in Galway on Monday and to be honest about it they didn’t seem to be aware of what had happened. This whole business was done very stealthily but the TDs have undertaken to take up the issue with the Minister as a matter of urgency,” said Michael Flynn.

IFA Animal Health Chairman, Bert Stewart, said that Minister Coveney and his officials continued to ignore the difficulties imposed on farmers in the current TB eradication programme.

He said that despite IFA putting a detailed submission to the Minister in September last year identifying necessary changes, the Minister’s officials were intent on increasing the cost burden for farmers and have proposed further tightening of controls with no attempt to take on board the issues raised by IFA.

“Understandably, some issues raised are requirements of EU regulations and the Minister must address these in the appropriate forum in order to find a resolution. Included in this category is the prohibition on purchasing animals into a restricted holding and the restriction of herds where lesions are found at slaughter.

“Accepting that achieving a resolution to these issues may take time, the IFA chairman said the Minister must ensure in the intervening period that his officials minimise the impact on farmers and, where necessary, provide supports,” said Bert Steward.

He also called on the Minister and his officials to engage in a meaningful way to reduce the cost and bureaucratic burden that continued to be imposed on farmers in the TB eradication programme.

Mr. Stewart said while the incidence of the disease continued to decline nationally, this was of little consolation to the thousands of farmers who continued to experience disease breakdowns every year.

 

Connacht Tribune

Factory prices must reflect market

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Galway IFA Livestock Rep, Micheál Haverty.

THE outlook for the cattle and beef sector remains ‘very positive’ but factories must step up to the mark in paying the ‘true market value’ for stock, according to Galway IFA Livestock Rep, Micheál Haverty.

He told the Farming Tribune that while there was a huge market demand for Irish beef there was still a massive discrepancy in prices between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

“There is absolutely no reason over recent weeks why the factories shouldn’t be paying at least another 15c to 20c per kilo for cattle.

“All the market pointers show the demand that is there for Irish beef and farmers should really try and bargain hard with the factories to get a better price than what’s being quoted,” said Micheál Haverty.

He added that with cattle in scarcer supply – the kill for the third week of November was down by 1,200 as compared to last year – the factories were under growing pressure to meet orders.

Marts around the county have also reported an increase in ‘agent activity’ as factories depend more on the marts to fill the gap in supplies coming in the gate to them.

Loughrea Mart reported last week a bigger interest from agents trying to source finished – or almost finished – cattle for the meat plants.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Dunmore’s Market Day makes a return

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Pictured at the launch of Dunmore Market Day were Vivienne Glynn, Tommie Howley, Damien O Se, Mark Ryan, Mark Jennings, Peter Walken, Barry Flynn, Helen Gunning, John Mulrennan, Janette Glynn and Councillor Joe Sheridan. Photo: Johnny Ryan Photography.

THE traditional outdoor farmers’ market in Dunmore is being revived this weekend when there will be some 50 stalls on display.

However, it will be scaled back from what was originally planned with the organisers confining it to just one day on this coming Saturday.

The traditional market day has been synonymous with the annual summer festival but the current pandemic has put paid to this event happening for the past couple of years.

It was then decided by the Dunmore Traders to hold a market that would coincide with Christmas and would also include the hugely popular tractor run which was introduced in recent years.

Well-known local businessman, Tommie Howley told Farming Tribune that this has become the “winter version” of the summer market day and it was the intention of the traders to add something of a festive air to it as well.

“It will provide a social occasion for people to meet in a safe environment as well as giving them an opportunity to browse around the many stalls and attractions that will be provided on the day,” Tommie explained.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

On yer bike – from Ardrahan to Dublin city

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Pictured at the IFA ‘Save Irish Farming’ protest in Dublin last Sunday were: Roy O Brien, IFA; Rose Mary McDonagh, Caherlistrane; Peter Gohery, Eyrecourt; Bertie Roche, Abbey, Loughrea; Liam Higgins, Athenry; Pat Murphy, Ardrahan; Anne Mitchell, Menlough; Martin Murphy, Turloughmore; and Declan McDonagh, Caherlistrane.

‘ON, yer bike, and off to Dublin in the green, in the green’ – that was the motto last weekend of Ardrahan’s Pat Murphy who cycled his way to Dublin for the IFA rally in Merrion Square on Sunday.

“I enjoy doing a bit of cycling, although I hadn’t done a lot in preparation for a trip to Dublin, but I got through it all right,” the Connacht IFA Chairman, told the Farming Tribune.

He said that the motive for completing his 206km, two-day journey from his native Ardrahan to the IFA Farm Centre in Bluebell, Dublin, was to help draw attention to Sunday’s national rally.

Pat ‘broke the back’ on the journey on Friday when he cycled to Kinnegad with the help of a back-up vehicle, courtesy of daughter Ciara and her boyfriend, Conor Niland while Mike McInerney and Martin Murphy, cycled part of the Galway trip with him.

Galway IFA Chairperson Anne Mitchell provided the support on the second part of the trip and Pat Murphy was glad of the support. “It was great to have that back-up vehicle on both days in case anything went wrong, and it also helped to provide an extra element of safety for the trip,” he said.

According to Anne Mitchell, the IFA man averaged 27kph on that last leg of the trip which she said was ‘great going’, given the wet conditions on Saturday morning.

A head wind on the journey from Kilbeggan to Kinnegad proved to be the toughest part of the cycle for Pat Murphy, who said that the whole purpose of the cycle and Sunday’s rally was to highlight the issues facing farmers over the coming years.

“The decisions being taken now on CAP, nitrates and climate change in relation to farming will have major implications for the future of agriculture over the next 15 to 20 years.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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