The Chairperson of ICMSA Farm & Rural Affairs Committee has criticised the lack of clarity that still exists regarding the possible requirements for an NCT for so-called ‘fast’ tractors. Denis Drennan was commenting following a meeting on the matter last Friday and he said that the renewed confusion was very regrettable especially given the fact that following intensive lobbying by ICMSA and others last Autumn, it appeared that common sense would prevail and tractors engaged in farming related activities would not be required to have an NCT. Mr. Drennan said that ICMSA’s position had not changed and that meant a complete NCT exemption for tractors involved in agricultural activity, including hauling sileage or any other obvious farm-related activity.
Michael Fitzmaurice says Minister Creed needs to act immediately in ensuring no more lambs are rejected under clean livestock policy. “The announcement by the Kepak Group to suspend the slaughter of all sheep at its plant in Athleague is a frightening development that requires immediate action by the Minister. It comes I understand from the rejection of a large number of lambs by Department Staff under their new clean livestock policy which has been implemented since last Monday.” Said Fitzmaurice.
“This decision is a major loss to farmers, factory workers, the local community and the wider geographical area which is why the Minister needs to intervene immediately to get it resolved in Athleague and also to prevent it from escalating to other meat plants.”, he continued.
IFA President Joe Healy has welcomed confirmation by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed of how the additional €25m for the 2018 Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme will be allocated. He said it is important that the additional €25m allocated for 2018 marks the start of the reversal of cuts to the important scheme imposed in 2009. IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady said it is important that all farmers will benefit from the increase. He reminded that the ANC Review will begin this year and said, “The objective for the Review must be to bring the allocation back to €250m.” IFA Hill Committee Chairman Flor McCarthy welcomed that over half of the €25m allocation will go to farmers in hill areas, which are the most difficult land areas in the country. The change to the ANC allocation will mean the maximum payment for hill areas will be €3,846; €3,120 in more severely handicapped areas; and, €2,647 in less severely handicapped areas.
‘Brexit Adjustment Fund must be prioritised’, ICOS tells MEPs from European Parliament’s Budget Committee.
In a representation made to MEPs from the European Parliament’s Budgets Committee in Dublin this afternoon, ICOS (the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) called for the establishment of a Brexit Adjustment Fund to support businesses and communities most affected by the economic impact of Brexit and for the maintenance of a strong CAP budget after 2020. The delegation of MEPs, including Paul Rubig from Austria, Isabelle Thomas from France and Liadh Ni Riada from Ireland, was in Dublin to discuss the next Multi Annual Financial Framework, which will set out budgetary priorities for the European Union after 2020 for a seven year period. Among the key discussion points was the need for the remaining EU 27 member states to fill the gap in the EU budget once the UK exits. The UK are currently a significant net contributor to the EU budget.
Over 600 dogs and cats rehomed following the closure of a research facility in Co. Mayo. The ISPCA (Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has completed a project to rehome 603 animals including 346 dogs, mostly beagles and 257 cats from a research facility in Co. Mayo which closed in 2016. The ISPCA was first approached by Charles River Laboratories in August 2016 to discuss the possibility of rehoming as many of the animals as possible and following a series of meetings, agreement was reached on the most effective way of rehoming the animals. Authorisation also had to be sought from the Health Products Regulatory Agency (HPRA) which oversees such facilities in Ireland.
The announcement by Minister Creed on the targeting of the additional €25 million funding for the 2018 ANC Scheme has been welcomed by the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) President, Colm O’Donnell. The national farm leader said "the targeting of €22 million or 88 per cent of the funding towards the areas with the highest level of Natural Constraint indicates that the Minister has acknowledged that more of the ANC budget should in future be weighted in favour of the most constrained areas within the scheme. It further indicates that the Minister has endorsed the retaining of the mountain sheep grazing MSG area with over half the total funding being allocated." "This increase will," continued O’Donnell” bring the total fund for the 2018 ANC Scheme to almost €230 million, but more funding is needed to bring the scheme back to levels of 10 years ago."
Lakeland Dairies and Kerry Group have set their January milk prices, with both deciding to hold prices. Kerry will continue to pay 36cents per litre, including VAT, while Lakelands will pay 35.5cents per litre, including VAT.