The IFA has said that the proposed requirement of raising pigs with intact tails as part of an increase to the TAMS investment ceiling ‘is incompatible’.

Formal approval has been received from the European Commission to amend Ireland’s RDP to provide for an increase in the TAMS investment ceiling under the pig and poultry investment scheme from €80,000 to €200,000.

The Department of Agriculture (DAFM) told the Irish Farmers Journal that specifications are being drafted with revised conditionalities to improve animal welfare.

“DAFM is currently engaged in consultations with relevant stakeholders in relation to these new design specifications, one of the welfare objectives being to facilitate the raising of pigs with intact tails,” a spokesperson said.

Premature move

IFA pigs chair Roy Gallie has said the science around the practicalities of raising pigs with intact tails is far from complete.

“The literature and knowledge on raising pigs with intact tails has shown, irrefutably, that it is a multifactorial problem, which is not fully understood,” Gallie said.

“For the Department to gear funding towards this one as yet incomplete pig welfare issue is premature and to set dimensions of buildings on unsubstantiated science will lead to poor farmer engagement and participation.”