ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has said that the constant trolling of livestock farmers by a small minority of people in government agencies, politics, media, and academia, where there are more and more demands to dismantle meat and dairy farming, will backfire spectacularly.
“The internal EPA report, which is calling for a one-third cull of livestock numbers, re-wetting of 90 per cent of reclaimed land and quadruple its forestry targets, is the latest example. Within hours of the report being exposed in the media, a small cabal of unrepresentative but noisy activists were salivating at the prospect of ripping out the heart of economic activity in rural Ireland.
“Farmers are getting sick of the constant baiting. They feel that nothing they do will satisfy the more extreme green campaigners. Farmers are willing to do their fair share – 46,000 have applied to join the new agri-environment scheme but only 30,000 places are available – but they are not going to lie down and take extreme proposals that would destroy their livelihoods and potentially create a food security crisis.
“The reality is that there is a lot of goodwill among farmers to develop their farming systems to be more sustainable and many farmers are actively working to improve biodiversity. But they are not going to engage if the agenda is the insane vision of a tiny minority where wolves would roam a rural wasteland, consumers would be forced to make do with insect protein and fake burgers and rural communities would be economically devastated.”