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Independent.ie

Saturday 15 December 2018

Factories need to prioritise heavyweight sucklers: ICSA

Stock image. Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie
Stock image. Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

Eoghan MacConnell

There is no point in a €200 "sticking plaster" subsidy unless suckler beef is marketed as a premium product with prices to match, the AGM of the ICSA was told last week.

The future of the suckler cow, Mercosur, CAP, animal rights campaigners and carbon sequestration were all on the agenda at the packed meeting in Portlaoise.

ICSA president Patrick Kent said there was no point in taking money off the basic payment to give it back as a €200/cow payment if marketplace realities were ignored.

"There is no point in a €200 sticking plaster if suckler cow numbers go up and live exports go down," said Mr Kent. "If we are serious about sucklers factories must commit to paying for heavy U grade carcasses."

Mr Kent said farmers were willing to do their bit to help reduce emissions but pointed out they are helping through carbon sequestration.

"We are sick and tired of being lectured by vested interests, by misguided environmentalists and by animal rights extremists," he said.

Patrick Kent
Patrick Kent

Vulture funds

The AGM also saw Monaghan farmer Edmund Graham elected as the ICSA beef chairman to replace Edmond Phelan.

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Seamus Sherlock, who recently ran for ICSA president, was re-elected to the position of rural development chair.

The west Limerick drystock farmer said his association is prepared to support farmers involved in standoffs at farms threatened by vulture funds.

"I am dealing with a lot of farmers with the vulture funds unfortunately. That is a major problem. I can see that as one of the biggest problems coming down the road -it's only starting," said Mr Sherlock.


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