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Brucellosis testing will finish from next Spring

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Sheep grazing at Lough Innagh Valley in Connemara. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

AN end to brucellosis testing after 40 years is now on the cards following the application by Northern Ireland to have the Six Counties declared ‘brucellosis free’.

Galway IFA Livestock Committee Chairman, Michael Flynn, told the Farming Tribune that by late Spring/early Summer of next year, the whole of Ireland should be declared brucellosis free.

He pointed out that the Republic could have opted to end testing in 2011, but that this was deferred until the entire island could be designated brucellosis free.

“I suppose that this is one of the good news stories on the animal disease front in Ireland – if things had been done correctly, this could have been achieved many years back,” said Michael Flynn.

He predicted that the ending of brucellosis testing would save farmers millions of euro each year in testing and laboratory fees and was overall ‘a very welcome development’.

Last week, the North’s Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill, announced the the age threshold for brucellosis testing was increasing from 12 to 24 months – the window for a single movement test will also be extended in the Six Counties from 30 to 60 days.

In March of 2015, it will be exactly three years since the last confirmed case of brucellosis in the North, leaving them free to apply for brucellosis free status.

Brucellosis free status was achieved in the Republic in 2009 and while testing could have ended here in 2011, the main farming organisations and the Dept. of Agriculture decided it would be prudent to keep on limited testing, until the North achieved a similar status.

The IFA at national level have estimated that the ending of testing in the South will result in overall annual savings of €6m – at present, bulls and heifers over the age of 24 months being sold at the marts, have to be brucellosis tested.

According to Michael Flynn, over recent years, brucellosis testing has been confined to just 20% of herds in the Republic, concentrated mainly on herds with high movements.

“This is an important milestone in disease eradication in Ireland and it will also represent an important saving in testing fees for Irish farmers,” said Michael Flynn.

Connacht Tribune

Smiles . . . but little else for farmers

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Minister for Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath and Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, before their presentation of Budget 2022 to the Dáil.

FARM leaders have described this week’s Budget 2022 as ‘underwhelming and disappointing’ for the Irish agricultural sector – with nothing new of any substance in the financial plan for the coming year.

The rollover of the different agricultural schemes – annually worth in the region of €600m – has been one of the few aspects of Budget 2022 that has been welcoming by the farming sector.

An overall budget allocation of almost €1.86 billion has been set aside for the Dept. of Agriculture next year in addition to almost €1.2 billion of EU direct-payment funding.

The farming sector had sought to have a percentage of the carbon tax allocated for the setting up of a new REPS II type environmental scheme – however, this hasn’t happened.

Chair of the IFA’s National Farm Business Committee, Rose Mary McDonagh, told the Farming Tribune that there was really nothing of any significance in the budget for the farming commuity.

“There was a commitment in the Programme for Government that a percentage of the carbon tax would be allocated for the establishment of a new REPS II type scheme but unfortunately this hasn’t happened.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Farmers urged to stand up and fight

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Out in force: Michael O’Donohoe, Abbeyknockmoy; Pat Gately, Kiltormer; Noel Kelly, Mullagh and Micheál Haverty, Clonberne, at last Friday’s IFA protest rally in Roscommon.

THE Government has been sent a strong message that they must ‘talk to farmers’ and not ‘at them’ following last Friday’s series of rallies across the country, according to Connacht IFA Chair Pat Murphy.

He said that many farmers across the West of Ireland – and all over the country – were now very fearful of the future given the lack of clarity, negotiation and information at what was coming down the track for them over the coming years.

“I’d put it like this. On Friday in Roscommon, I met many, many ordinary farmers who mightn’t have been at a protest ever before who turned out for this one. We were delighted with the turnout at the four venues across the country,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that the three main issues that kept coming up with farmers were the eco scheme elements of the new CAP; the future of the suckler cow sector; and the lack of ‘real negotiations’ that the Government had undertaken with the farming representatives.

An estimated 400 farmers turned out for the Connacht rally outside Hyde Park in Roscommon which followed on from the first early-morning gathering in Cavan.

The third ‘afternoon rally’ took place in Portlaoise while the biggest turnout of the day was in Cork for ‘the night event’, which attracted an estimated 3,000 people.

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

A battle for survival!

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Huge turnout sought for farmer rallies on Friday.

IN the weeks and months ahead, Irish farming faces one of its biggest challenges. The recently-passed Climate Action Bill means Ireland has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51%. This leaves the Government with one of the biggest policy challenges in the history of the State.

They selected this target without any consideration of the consequences for the economy, or for Irish farming. Shortly, the Government will publish carbon budgets, and Sectoral Emissions Ceilings. This will include a legally-binding emissions ceiling for Irish agriculture.

Because of this, every policy pursued by the Government is now designed to reduce output and hit our most productive farmers. This will have huge consequences for Irish farming. Already, the Government is talking about having a ‘stable national herd’.

There is no such thing as a ‘national herd’. We have over 100,000 cattle herds in this country, with an average of fewer than 70 animals. These cattle are owned by farmers, not the State. The livelihoods of thousands of farmers and their families depend on these herds. We cannot place a new quota on these farmers.

IIn the coming weeks, our Minister will also finalise his plan for Ireland’s next CAP programme for 2023-27. Based on the current proposals, 25% will be sliced off every farmer’s Basic Payment to fund Eco Schemes.

Many farmers will not be able to qualify.  Those who do, will suffer significant compliance costs. As a result, some of our most productive farmers will see their incomes devastated. These Eco Schemes are cuts, not ‘rewards for environmental actions’ as some in Government are describing them.

The EU rules allow our own Government to reduce the percentage cut for Eco Schemes below 25%. The Minister must pursue this and the schemes must be designed in a way that allows our most productive farmers to get a larger Eco Scheme payment.

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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