None of the three Government leaders who launched the new climate action bill can be trusted to deliver for either the environment or Irish family farmers, Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture Matt Carthy has said.
“The crucial issue is not simply how many cattle there are in Ireland, it is how those cattle are reared. Some forms of production are more sustainable than others,” Carthy said.
“Government party leaders completely miss that point. Our suckler herd produces among the most sustainable beef in the world. But it is among the least profitable.”
Sinn Féin has said reducing the number of suckler cows while facilitating the intensification of feedlot production would be ‘utterly pointless’.
“To reduce Ireland’s beef production while supporting EU trade deals that will result in the importation of less-sustainable beef in other parts of the world is also nonsensical,” Carthy continued.
“The EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has described as ‘maladministration’ the failure of the European Union to conclude a sustainability impact assessment in advance of concluding the EU-Mercosur trade agreement.
"Yet this Government [has] not yet committed to rejecting this trade deal that would see up to 99,000t of beef flood the European market and directly lead to further destruction of rainforests.”
It should ensure that environmental and agricultural policy is aimed at supporting farming families
Sinn Féin has said that if Government is serious about tackling the climate crisis and supporting Irish farming, then it should ensure that environmental and agricultural policy is aimed at supporting farming families.
“Support farm families to thrive by increasing financial supports to the most sustainable sectors, addressing market imbalances, facilitating entry of smaller farmers to organic schemes, revitalising farm forestry and promoting diversification,” Carthy concluded.