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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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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‘Why is all the focus on the cow, and no discussions about targeting aviation?’

Independent TD, Danny Healy-Rae, has stated that he is “very concerned and angered” with what he says are “so-called climate talks taking place in government with the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for the Environment”.

He claims that these talks are taking place behind closed doors where farmers and farming representatives are having “no say whatsoever” in decisions about their future and their operation’s viability going forward.

“Indeed, in any of the comments that are leaked, we hear no word at all about food security,” he remarked.

“All we are hearing are the figures of 22%, 25% and 30%. Yet no farmer knows or has been told what this actually means to cow numbers or how much of a reduction is going to be demanded by each of these percentages.”

“Indeed, it cannot be fair that farm holdings with a lot of marginal land, bushes and trees, rocks and bog, will get no credit at all for all the carbon that they are individually and collectively sequestering.”

He stated that they “do not seem to be getting” any credit for the many new costly environmental practices they have put into place in recent years.

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He feels that all of this could lead to a “serious” downturn in the economy of our country. Healy-Rae added that farming has been and is the backbone of our country for generations.

Focus on farming

He then went on to question, “why is all the focus on farming and the cow, and there are no discussions about targeting all the other sectors, including aviation”.

“Why is there such a hatred of farming by this government when clearly the farmer is putting the food on the table.”

He declared that he does not accept we have to reduce emissions by 22% when so many farmers are sequestering more carbon “than they are emitting”.

He called for the suspension of such “current talks” to allow a “proper” debate between farmers, farming organisations and elected representatives to ensure the viability of farming going forward.

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