ICSA submission on the Food Harvest 2020 Environmental Analysis Report

ICSA FH2020 Env Analysis Sub Nov2013  ICSA made a submission in November 2013 to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in response to the consultation regarding the Food Harvest 2020 Environmental Analysis Report.

In this submission, ICSA highlighted that:

  • The report needs to be updated to reflect recent changes in agriculture policy
  • More reference needs to be made to existing schemes which can deliver knowledge transfer or environmental benefits
  • More detail is required in relation to implementation of mitigation measures through agri-environment schemes

General comments are also made regarding the recommendations of the Environmental Analysis Report.

pdf button Download PDF: ICSA submission on the Food Harvest 2020 Environmental Analysis Report

ICSA submission on the Agriculture Sectoral Roadmap

ICSA Sectoral Roadmap Sub Nov2013  ICSA made a submission in November 2013 to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in response to the consultation regarding the Agriculture Sectoral Roadmap of the draft Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2013.

In this submission, ICSA addressed Ireland’s problematic climate change targets and reviewed the options for the sectoral roadmap. The submission concludes that:

Much more precise analysis is required to establish what agriculture has to do to meet climate change targets and how this can be achieved in practice. Further clarification is required as to what constitutes emission reduction for each agri-sector. Following from this, there must be a clear vision of a regulatory and policy framework so that farmers have a transparent reference of how they can farm in a viable way while playing a feasible part in the climate change effort.

pdf button Download PDF: ICSA submission on the Agriculture Sectoral Roadmap

Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020: ICSA Submission – Revised July 2013

ICSA RD 2014 2020 Submissio  ICSA has made a submission in January 2013 to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in response to the 2014 – 2020 Rural Development Programme consultation call. Following ongoing discussions, a number of revisions were made, leading to an updated submission being put forward in July 2013.

In the context of the ongoing respective EU budget and CAP reform negotiations, ICSA argues that a Rural Development Programme needs funding of up to €700m per annum in order to make a real impact in terms of meeting the six key objectives set out by the EU Commission in its CAP reform proposals.

Furthermore, as part of any new RDP, ICSA has advocated the following measures:

  • A more streamlined and integrated approach is taken to Rural Development funding applications and monitoring to reduce the duplication of labour and lessen the administrative burden on both the Department and applicants.
  • That the existing model for BTAP and STAP should be significantly expanded under the 2014-2020 RDP
  • That top-up payments of maximum €1,000 per scheme be paid on specific Rural Development schemes (Agri-environment, Suckler and Disadvantaged Area) to farms classed as ‘Low Income Holdings’.
  • That a new suckler scheme be set up within the framework of the Rural Development Programme, requiring farmers to supply breeding info to ICBF, together with selected additional information.
  • That a greater focus be put on farmers on marginal land, with high rainfall, non-arable land or at higher elevation in relation to Disadvantaged Area funding
  • That the Department fund a new expanded farm investment scheme targeting practical innovation aimed at making farm systems more competitive.
  • That the sheep grassland scheme should be part of the RD programme.
  • That young farmers receive 25% extra on Agri-environment, Disadvantaged Area or Suckler Scheme payments provided they also fulfil the Low Income Holding criteria limits.
  • That there should be continuing support for developing the organic sector in Ireland through a separate Organic Support Scheme.
  • That the Department develop and implement a new agri-environment scheme that is more comprehensive and ambitious than AEOS; any new scheme should be developed in consultation with farmers.
  • That the Department should instate a separate agri-environment scheme for uplands
  • That farm forestry planting continues to be supported with planting aid and farm forestry premia.
  • That more cooperation between Local Action Groups and farmers form a key element of any new LEADER schemes, with a review of how to ensure that LEADER supports farming.
pdf button Download PDF: ICSA Submission on the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 – July Revision

ICSA Submission on the Proposed Dog Microchipping Programme

ICSA-Dog-Microchipping-Subm  Minister Coveney recently made a call for submissions on Dog Microchipping as part of the passing of the Animal Helath and Welfare Bill into law; he specifically plans to introduce a regulation which will require the microchipping of all dogs in the country.

ICSA has been calling for such compulsory microchipping for many years, and has strongly welcomed the Minister’s proposal as a solution to many of the current problems relating to Ireland’s dog population such as straying, rehoming, theft, livestock worrying, animal cruelty and dangerous dogs. This submission makes a number of recommendations relating to the implementation of microchipping, including:

  • Equal chipping rates for all dogs, regardless of purpose
  • Restriction of chipping practice to registered vets, dog wardens and staff of approved dog shelters
  • Minimising of costs
  • Education regarding requirement of addition of chip data to a database
  • Clarity regarding protocol during change of ownership

ICSA aim to play an active role in any publicity campaign during the microchipping rollout.

pdf button Download PDF: ICSA Submission on the Proposed Dog Microchipping Programme

ICSA Submission on the Suckler TAM Scheme

ICSA-Suckler-TAMS-Submissio  The Department of Agriculture sought views from the main farming stakeholders on the potential content of a new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme for the suckler sector. The Suckler Committee reached a consensus that the most appropriate use of funding for a Suckler TAM Scheme would be to prioritise improving farm safety and welfare through modernised animal handling facilities. 

In this submission, ICSA called for funding for a suite of TAM measures that could deliver improved farm safety and animal health & welfare, namely:

  • Crush equipment with optional head scoop for safer inspection and dosing of animals
  • Smaller dedicated crates for calf dehorning
  • Crush extensions for increased safety at rear of animal
  • Mobile crush units for use in field situations
  • Wired or wireless cameras for installation in calving sheds
  • Calf-weighing equipment
  • Badger-proof feed troughs
  • Tipping water troughs

Through these measures, ICSA believes that we can advance the competitiveness of the suckler sector, whilst improving the overall health and genetic resources of the national herd.

pdf button Download PDF: ICSA Submission on the Suckler TAM Scheme

ICSA Submission on the Second Review of the Nitrates Action Programme

ICSA Nitrates Submission Th  ICSA has made its submission to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in response to the Second Review of the Nitrates Action Programme consultation call.

The submission highlights the problems for farmers brought about by ‘calendar farming’ aspects of the Good Agricultural Practive Regulations, which ICSA has been repeatedly vocal about in recent years.

pdf button Download PDF: ICSA Submission on the Second Review of the Nitrates Action Programme