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ICSA URGES HEN HARRIER FARMERS TO VISIT THEIR STAND AT PLOUGHING

Sep 15, 2015 | Press Releases | 0 comments

15th September 2015

ICSA Munster Vice President John Halley has urged farmers with designated area problems such as the hen harrier to visit the ICSA stand (R25 Stand 422) at the forthcoming national ploughing championships.  “ICSA is committed to helping farmers get a better deal from Government.  It is simply not acceptable that farmers can have the value and productivity of their land ruined by a hen harrier or any other designation.  

While there is some support under GLAS, the maximum that a farmer could get out of GLAS is limited to 19 ha of designated area.  ICSA wants to see a scheme that provides €350/ha on every designated hectare.  We also want easing of restrictions on forestry planting on designated ground.  There is evidence that forestry plantations in the early years are actually good for hen harriers and ICSA believes that a farmer should have the option of planting up to 50% of his designated area.  In practice, this would lead to a limited and gradual increase in overall planting in a manner which would be actually beneficial to the hen harrier.”

 

Mr Halley said that there were many other reasons to visit the ICSA stand.  “ICSA will be highlighting the problems with the food chain and how farmers are getting less and less of the final retail price paid by consumers.  The association wants a regulator at EU level to challenge the power of retailers and processors.  We need to investigate where the money is going in the food chain because it certainly isn’t going to the farmer,” said Mr Halley.   

ICSA president Patrick Kent has called for an immediate announcement on the abolition of pre-movement brucellosis testing in light of the declaration of Northern Ireland as officially brucellosis free. 

“The 60 day pre-movement test is now an unnecessary cost on farmers.  Worse, it restricts competition due to farmers being reluctant to bring heifers or cows to a mart.  Instead they go direct to a factory to avoid the hassle and cost but this lack of choice puts them in a weaker position when negotiating with factories.”

“We have previously received a commitment from the Department that pre-movement testing would be abolished as soon as the Northern Ireland position was clarified; it’s now urgent that this is implemented without delay.” 

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