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‘This attempt to cap the Irish suckler herd will not be accepted’

The Irish Beef & Lamb Association – IBLA – has reacted to reports that the proposed Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme will prevent participants from increasing numbers over its duration.

The group confirmed that it would not support any reduction or capping of the “valuable” Irish suckler herd.

In a statement, an IBLA spokesperson said:

“IBLA asks the minister to clarify what stakeholder consultation has taken place on this matter and the list of stakeholders involved.”

“IBLA requests a detailed explanation on the rationale behind this attempt to cap the suckler herd, who proposed it and who agreed to it.”

“The Irish suckler herd is the backbone of rural Ireland and its communities and is a vital element of our rural circular economy. IBLA views this as an attempt to sacrifice the Irish suckler herd to benefit other sectors.”

“We find it completely underhanded that there was no mention of this measure at yesterday’s suckler committee meeting or at the recent sitting of the Beef Taskforce.”

Suckler numbers 

“This attempt to cap the Irish suckler herd will not be accepted by Irish suckler farmers. There will be no generational renewal in the beef sector with this DAFM proposal.”

The group appealed to every farmer to contact their TDs and public representatives to “voice your outrage at this course of action”.

“Rural Ireland has a voice, and it must be used. If carbon quotes are to be applied to the industry, they must apply to all within the industry and not discriminate one sector over another. That would simply be unjust and will not be accepted.”

“No farm organisation claiming to represent the beef industry could support or allow this measure being introduced in any format.”

The IBLA has asked all farm organisations to declare their position on this matter publicly.

That’s Farming has contacted the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to request a statement.

Beef Market Taskforce

Last month, the group warned that farmers will have “no options only to return to protest to have their voices heard” if the taskforce concludes or winds down.

“The Beef Taskforce forum was set up as a direct result of the factory gate protests in 2019. The Beef Taskforce is the only forum to air grievances and conduct a discussion with all stakeholders in the beef industry.”

“IBLA does not concur with the taskforce chairman that the taskforce remit is near a conclusion. On the contrary, there is a vast body of work to be carried out on behalf of farmers.“

“Minister McConalogue can continue to utilise the taskforce to set a pathway forward to address further outstanding issues.”

“He can broaden the scope of the taskforce to cover other bodies of work that need to be addressed in the meat industry.”

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