Farmers want inspection and TB test cuts

IFA President Padraig Walshe said Taoiseach Brian Cowen has agreed to closely examine IFA’s plan for maintaining funding for vital farm schemes, while cutting 27% of the Department of Agriculture’s budget.

Mr Walshe met the Taoiseach and Tanaiste Mary Coughlan after the protest last Monday by more than 500 farmers at the Fianna Fáil meeting in Athlone.

Walshe said reducing and combining cross compliance and nitrates inspections on farms, using meat inspection technicians under veterinary supervision, and allowing cattle be sent for slaughter within 18 months of a TB test, can help to save up to €80 million per year. IFA propose savings of €14m in research expenditure.

IFA has identified savings of €439m which can be achieved between 2010 and 2012. This takes into account a 2010 reduction in the department’s budget of nearly €300m because the pork dioxin payment, farm waste management grants, and fallen animals expenditure will not arise.

Mr Walshe warned the Taoiseach that savings proposed in the Bord Snip report would backfire if the government implement the proposals. He said farmers pushed onto social welfare would cost the exchequer €240m, or €36m more than the proposed savings, and the cuts would also knock €431m off agricultural output.

Instead, a properly supported agriculture could increase export earnings by €2 billion and employment by over 16,000.


Lifestyle

With documentary film ‘Fantastic Fungi’ set to take the world by storm, Joe McNamee looks at the fabulous world of mushroomsDocumentary explores the magic of mushrooms

I lead a very busy life — I’m a mature student in college — and I separated from my partner but the separation was my decision. I hate myself when it beckons as it ultimately makes me fatter, it has the reverse effectDear Louise: I had my bulimia under control. But the demon has returned

This year has been particularly difficult and stressful, and I think that’s an even more important reason to make time for your health.Derval O'Rourke: Resistance is far from futile and necessary

Best-selling author Faith Hogan is keeping the faith during the lockdown, thanks to her Moy Valley haven in Ballina, Co Mayo.Shape I'm in: Keeping the Faith during lockdown

More From The Irish Examiner