The Nature Restoration Law could potentially threaten access to CAP direct payments for some farmers, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has claimed.

INHFA president Vincent Roddy pointed out that Article 4 of the proposed law stipulates that if CAP supports are found to be impeding the environmental goals of the legislation, then those payments can potentially be pulled.

“The article states that where there are supports which are deemed to be counterproductive to the aims of the Nature Restoration Law, then these CAP payments could come under pressure,” Roddy told a Sinn Féin information meeting in Claremorris.

“For example, if CAP payments are keeping me farming but are stopping me rewetting, then those supports could potentially be withdrawn or repurposed in the future,” he explained to the Irish Farmers Journal after the meeting.

Roddy also pointed out to those in attendance, that there was no “new money” for rewetting or for the other proposed actions required by the Nature Restoration Law, which is currently being framed by the European Parliament’s environment committee.

Tetchy exchanges

Meanwhile, the rewetting issue prompted some tetchy exchanges between farmers affiliated to the INHFA and IFA.

After a farmer commended the IFA leadership for the association’s recent rewetting meeting in Tullamore, an INHFA member pointed out that his organisation had been active on the issue for 18 months but had its early warnings regarding the Nature Restoration Law dismissed as “scaremongering”.