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Ensure to tick the boxes for sheep scheme

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Michael Murphy: Don't be left out of scheme.

SHEEP farmers have been advised this week to ‘tick all the boxes’ in relation to qualifying for the new Sheep Welfare Scheme (SWS) that was officially launched this week by Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

Galway IFA Sheep Committee Chairman, Michael Murphy, said that while the scheme was relatively straightforward it was important that all applicants had their basic homework done to ensure that they got in.

“The animal welfare requirements of the scheme are pretty straightforward but what we want to ensure is that no one misses out because of paperwork not being completed.

“It is important – and indeed necessary – that the census form for 2016 be completed by all applicants. The scheme has been the culmination of two years hard work and we certainly don’t want to see anyone miss out,” said Michael Murphy.

He also advised farmers to bear in mind that whatever two measures they committed to in the scheme, they would have to stick with them for the duration of the programme. [4 years].

Michael Murphy also pointed out that ewe lambs would not qualify for the 2017 scheme and that the qualifying figure for inclusion would depend on the farmers’ ewe numbers in  2014/2015 [an average of both censuses].

The Sheep Welfare Scheme provides funding of €25 million in 2017 and while Minister Creed and the Dept. of Agriculture haven’t ‘committed’ to the overall duration of the programme, it is expected to be of four year duration.

January 31, 2017, is the deadline for application for inclusion in the scheme and between now and then, the Dept. of Agriculture will hold a series of information meetings across the country’s main sheep regions.

The Galway meeting on SWS has been scheduled for Peacock’s of Maam Cross on Tuesday, January 17, at 8pm with the Mayo meeting taking place in Breaffy House, Castlebar, on Monday, January 17, also at 8pm. There is also a meeting in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, on Wednesday night, January 18 (8pm).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Ballinasloe to celebrate 300-years of fairs

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Niall Clarke, Kevin Murray, Sinead Manning, Thomas Gullane, Maeve Keegan, Kieran Egan, Ciara Croffey, Mary Phelan & Mal Croffey at the launch of the Ballinasloe Fair & Festival 2022.

THREE hundred years of horse fairs in Ballinasloe will be celebrated this coming weekend when the event returns following the Covid interruption of recent years.

The main equestrian days of the show are on this coming Saturday, Sunday and Monday with the Fairgreen being the place to be this weekend with every breed of horse and pony on display.

Connemaras, Trotting Ponies and Irish Draughts will all be featuring but apart from the horses, there’s also a full line-up of entertainment events.

Fun events, street stalls, fireworks, tug-o-war, street and vintage parades, arts and crafts, music and children’s events will all feature strongly over the weekend and into next week.

The fair is expected to attract in the region of 85,000 visitors from October 2 to 9, for an event that dates back to the early 1700s.

According to the fair organisers, while there is little detail available about the early days of the fair, the London Times reported in the late 1700s that the fair sold over 65,000 sheep and 6,500 cattle.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Huge cow cull could be in the pipeline

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Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy

WESTERN farm leaders have expressed alarm at reports that the Government could be considering a massive cull of the suckler cow herd to meet climate change targets over the coming years.

The reports are based on documents released to the Irish Times newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act outlining the possibility of introducing a €2 billion farm retirement package to achieve the culling targets.

According to the documents, the reduction target in the suckler herd would be 700,000 (70% of the national herd) with 300,000 dairy cows also to be culled.

Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy, said that such reports which were obviously based on Dept. of Agriculture documents were extremely worrying for all farmers across the country but especially so for the West of Ireland.

“We don’t have the land in the West of Ireland that can support extensive grain farms or dairy enterprises. There are issues with land quality and fragmented holdings which means that many parts of the region are only suited to mixed cattle and sheep enterprises,” said Pat Murphy.

He added that the most galling aspect of all the talk of cuts in the national herd, was that huge beef producing countries like Brazil would immediately fill any gap in the market resulting from a reduction in the Irish national herd.

“We are very small players in the world market, and even if the most extreme measures as regards culling were put in place across Ireland, it wouldn’t make one iota of a difference to the overall  world emissions from agriculture.

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.

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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

Changes agreed on TB testing regime

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Stephen Canavan: Six months test proposal is not on!
Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan

A PROPOSED six-months testing requirement for all bovine animals moving herds will now only apply to cows and males over 36-months old, following discussions over recent weeks between the Dept. of Agriculture and the IFA.

Initially it had been proposed by the Department that the six-months testing regime would be in place for all animals from next year, but the ‘age compromise’ has now been agreed.

However, another major issue now needs to be resolved as to who will pay for a second test when it comes to the sale of the older animals through the marts or from herd to herd.

According to Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, the compromise deal on the six-months testing requirement for the older animals – ‘while not ideal’ – was the best that could be achieved.

“The vast majority of mart sales or sales between farmers will involve animals which are under 36 months of age so at least some progress has been made on that issue.

“Now, the negotiations will switch to the issue of who will pay for any of the six-months tests where they apply, and the IFA are taking a very strong line on this.

“The agreement on payment always has been that farmers will only have to pay for one test per year and we will be insisting that this extends onto any seller who has to have a six-months’ test,” said Stephen Canavan.

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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