Irish Farmers Raise Alarm Over Government’s Proposal To Kill Off 200,000 Cows
Authored by Ryan Morgan via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
The Irish government is facing a backlash after reports broke of a proposal to kill off as many as 200,000 cows over the next three years in an effort to meet the country’s emissions reduction goals.
Last week, the Irish Independent reported on a government document describing plans for a potential cull of up to 65,000 dairy cows per year for the next three years. The paper reportedly obtained the documents from Ireland’s Department of Agriculture through a freedom of information request. In all, killing off 200,000 cows would wipe out about 10 percent of Ireland’s dairy cow population.
Ireland’s Department of Agriculture subsequently told the Irish Mirror the document describing the culling operation was part of a deliberation process as the department looks for ways to help Ireland meet its emissions reduction goals and “is not a final policy decision.” Still, the proposal has faced backlash from farming organizations.
“Reports like this only serve to further fuel the view that the government is working behind the scenes to undermine our dairy and livestock sectors,” Tim Cullinan, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association, told The Telegraph.
Pat McCormack, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, also knocked the cull proposal. McCormack balked at the idea that plans for reducing Ireland’s emissions had come to focus on livestock rather than other major emitters like airlines.
“We’re the one industry with a significant roadmap, and, to be quite honest with you, our herd isn’t any larger than it was 25 to 30 years ago,” McCormack told The Telegraph. “Can the same be said for the transport industry, can the same be said for the aviation industry?”
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk also pushed back against the cow-killing emissions reduction plan on Saturday.
“This really needs to stop. Killing some cows doesn’t matter for climate change,” Musk, whose portfolio includes the Tesla electric vehicle company, wrote on Twitter.
A Voluntary Program?
While the Irish government has yet to reach a final policy decision on the cull, government officials and proponents of the plan have said farmers could voluntarily participate and the program could serve as a retirement strategy for aging farmers.
“Actually what this is is an exit scheme for dairy farmers—I come from a dairy farming background myself—that the farmers themselves have asked for and have called for,” Irish Senator and Green Party Chair Pauline O’Reilly said in Wednesday panel discussion on Virgin Media’s “The Tonight Show.”
Some farmers have still expressed anxiety that a cull program will not be voluntary.
McCormack told The Telegraph that if the government does decide on the cull policy “it needs to be a voluntary scheme. That’s absolutely critical.”
Farms and Emissions
The Irish government’s efforts to reduce emissions are in line with the broader reduction goals of the European Union.
The Dutch government, another E.U. member, has also pushed for livestock reductions as a means of controlling emissions.
Last year, farmers in the Netherlands began protesting emissions rules that many of them believe will make their livelihoods unsustainable. One Dutch farmer, Robbin Voorend, told The Epoch Times he would have to cut his livestock numbers by 90 to 95 percent to meet new nitrogen emissions rules.
The New Zealand government also brought forward a plan last year to tax farmers for biogenic methane emissions, which mainly come from livestock burps and flatulence. The proposal was also met with protests from farmers around the country.
Wed, 06/07/2023 – 05:00
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/z4HF0kP Tyler Durden