IFA President Tim Cullinan said the Minister for Agriculture has to come clean on the Department’s position on how sectoral emission ceilings for agriculture will be achieved.
His comments come after it emerged that the Department of Agriculture has been analysing the cost of a drastic cow reduction scheme.
Documents released to The Irish Times under FOI show proposals have been put forward some months ago which undermine the dairy sector and devastate the suckler sector.
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said that the reported planned reduction in the suckler herd was astonishing and would eliminate the sector entirely.
“At a time when the Minister should be focused on securing funding for the Beef Environment and Efficiency Programme for Sucklers in next week’s Budget, we see that the Department is working behind the scenes to pull the rug from the entire sector. This would devastate farming, but also rural Ireland,” he said.
IFA Dairy Chairman Stephen Arthur said that the Department appear hell bent on reducing numbers.
“The changes in the Nitrates directive are already impacting heavily on the dairy sector. Now we see what is going on behind the scenes,” he said.