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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Anger over proposals to reduce suckler herd as low as 200,000 cows

The INHFA has vented its anger over the Climate Change Advisory Council’s (CCAC) proposed carbon budgets.

The group said the report proposes a “major” reduction in Ireland’s suckler herd as a means of delivering carbon targets.

National president, Vincent Roddy the report ignores the positive benefits of suckler farming.

“Proposals to reduce the suckler herd to as low as 200,000 cows in one of the five scenarios outlined ignores the positive benefit of extensive farming systems as practiced by our suckler farmers.”

In outlining this, Roddy pointed to an EU Commission report published in September 2019 that “verified this fact”.

The report had 23 key stakeholders from 13 different countries across Europe, including Deirdre Hennessy from Ireland.

He said it provides a “detailed insight” into sustainable grazing and its impact on sequestering carbon.

“When assessing how our farming systems impact climate change, it is vital that we take on board all of the science and not what suits a particular ideology.”

Roddy said the Grazing for Carbon Report is “there for all to view”.

He added that even at this late stage, he would ask the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) to “study it carefully and not be afraid to review their suggestions after they conduct this task”.

Impact report

Roddy outlined how the organisation is assessing the CCAC report and its impact on farming and the wider rural economy.

“When completed, we will provide a detailed and considered view and outline any possible actions,” he concluded.

Suckler cows’ role based on emissions

Earlier this month, Roddy called on the CCAC to re-assess suckler cows’ roles based on emissions.

At the organisation’s AGM, he discussed specific proposals the CCAC made to reduce the suckler herd “due to its lack of profitability.”

Furthermore, he queried their suitability in “pointing the finger of blame” at suckler cows.

“Their role should be to assess emissions and their impact based on science and not whether the sector was profitable or not.”

He asked the CCAC to revisit this and provide an updated view based entirely on science.

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