THE industrialisation of farming, especially since we joined the European Economic Community, has had a greater impact on our countryside than all previous human activity.
Bogs that once swallowed horses or straying cattle whole were drained and are now solid, grass-producing monocultures or tillage ground sustainable only because of the application of myriad chemicals. This evolution, essential to the viability of farming, was not without cost. A great deal of our flora and fauna have been sacrificed so agriculture’s potential might be realised. The destruction of habitat has played a significant role in the destruction of Irish wildlife.
Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys is considering changes to the Heritage Bill which would extend the period during which hedges might be cut or plants burned to benefit farmers who have lobbied for the extension.
Minister Humphreys, who comes from a farming background, should not relax the legislation, rather she should do more to protect the wildlife ever-more threatened by factory farming and the destruction of habitat wildlife depends on.
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