16th December, 2011
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) Suckler Chairman, Dermot Kelleher, has welcomed the commitment by the Minister for Agriculture to protect the suckler herd. Speaking at the ICSA AGM and Conference in Dublin this week, the Minister said the “I believe in the suckler herd, it must be maintained at all costs.”
Dermot Kelleher said: “I was heartened by the Minister’s comments with regard to the suckler herd. Minister Coveney was steadfast in his support of the suckler herd, he is convinced that farming needs it thriving and I agree with him. His commitment to suckler farmers is evident in the amount of work he had to do to ensure that the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme received no cuts in this year’s budget when other schemes received significant cuts.
“The announcement of €5 million funding for discussion groups for cattle farmers is also a very positive move. However, we need to focus much more on quality breeding in the suckler herd and ICSA intends engaging with the Minister to ensure that this happens. That will require an ongoing commitment to funding and we must also consider what use could be made of rural development funding under Pillar 2 of a revised CAP,” Mr. Kelleher concluded.