IFA President Tim Cullinan said that including livestock farming within the EU ‘Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)’ was the completely wrong approach in the first place.
“Farms are already heavily regulated and they are not ‘industrial’ units. We have a pasture-based system in this country. This is driven by ideology, not science, and it’s the ‘thin end of the wedge’ to force a costly licensing regime on farming,” he said.
The EU Commission were seeking to have every farm with more than 150 Livestock Units included within the scope of this Directive. The negotiating position agreed by the EU Council last week increased the limit to 350 Livestock Units.
“COPA, the European farm organisation, of which I am the Vice President, and IFA have been running a strong campaign at EU level to protect family farms since the proposals first appeared last year,” he said.
“Before the meeting last week, we were one of ten farm organisations across the EU to write to the EU Council on the matter. While 350 is a significant improvement on the original proposal of 150 livestock units, it is still completely over the top,” he said.
“What was decided last week is the EU Council’s negotiating position. There is still further negotiation to take place between the three EU institutions, The European Parliament still has to finalise its position ahead of negotiations between the three institutions. We will continue to lobby MEPs on the matter,” he said.
Mr. Cullinan said that he was also seeking clarity on the position taken by the Irish Government at the meeting, where Minister Ossian Smyth supported the original 150 livestock unit proposal and expressed disappointment that the proposed revised limit of 350 livestock units would result in fewer livestock farms falling under the IED remit.
“I am worried that Green Ministers are not acting in our national interest and are instead following their minority ideology. I will be seeking further clarity as to whether the Irish Government’s position is that all farms above 150 livestock units should be included under the IED,” he said.