European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski is keen for Ireland to take up animal welfare measures under eco schemes in the next CAP.
He told the Irish Farmers Journal on an Ag-Press webinar this week that animal welfare measures, organic farming and precision agriculture are some of the eco schemes he would like to see carried out.
However, that list is not exhaustive, he said.
“I’m very happy that animal welfare is one of the potential eco schemes because this is very close to my heart.
"There is a very big livestock sector in Ireland and it’s a very good proposal [for] the farmers who have summer grazing, summer pasture.
“My personal intention is to increase the expenditure for animal welfare, we spent in the current financial period only 1.5% of the old expenditure on animal welfare. I hope in this CAP it will be many times more than that,” he said.
He said animal welfare eco schemes are a “huge opportunity” for Irish farmers and farmers all over Europe, but stopped short of saying exactly what type of measures he would like to see carried out.
What eco schemes are on the table for farmers?
Proposals by the Department of Agriculture for Irish eco schemes contain animal health and welfare options.
It outlined sample measures to farm organisations back in May. It said the following data recording measures could be on the table:
Eco schemes will work on a points-based system, with farmers scored on the measures taken up.