In this article, Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice, explains why he believes every “right-minded” person must resist the new emissions directive.
This week, the European Commission has proposed that farms with 150 livestock units or more will require permits, as part of the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).
This directive is the beginning of a slippery slope to handing the EU the legislative clout to hammer Irish farming.
A permit system for farming will be an utter disaster for the Irish people.
The EU is using sleight of hand to bring in what is essentially a license system for farming.
And once you must be licensed to do your job, you can be controlled and worse – stopped. Farmers could essentially be ‘put off the road’ under the proposed changes.
I speculate that there is potential for smaller farmers to be pulled into the licensing net.
150 units does not mean 150 animals. And in my opinion, the current regulations could be manipulated to categorise larger animals as being more than one livestock unit.
Attack on the family farm
This is the EU attacking the family farm and needs to be opposed. If this move goes unchallenged, it will only act to consolidate farming in the hands of big farmers.
We need to open our eyes and see where this move is leading us. There’s no point in walking blindly into the trap being set by the EU.
No acceptable threshold
I do not believe there is an acceptable number for which permits should apply.
In my opinion, if we let this in at any number, the game is over, as the goal posts will be, as they always are, moved to suit the agenda of the EU.
Gone unchecked, the EU will control every aspect of Irish farming from the type of land we farm to the number of units we farm.
This move is one sure way to enable the EU to nail farmers with any random rule they want.
This is not about small Irish farmers versus big Irish farmers. It is a matter of all Irish farmers against the EU and its underhanded efforts to effectively corporatise Irish farming.
A real and negative impact
I am warning against being short-sighted in respect of the changes: Let us not fool ourselves.
Just like the Habitats Directive has had a real and negative impact on the people of this country, so will this directive. All you have to do is look at the case of Lough Funshinagh.
The EU is playing the long game. The unintended consequences of these directives might not be felt for years after their implementation.
It is up to every citizen of this nation, along with every right-minded politician and farming organisation, to stand up and be counted now.
If we do not, we will be passively accepting the end of agriculture in this country and giving up control of our land and collective futures to the EU.
Other articles on That’s Farming: