IFA President Joe Healy, IFA National Officers and members of the IFA Livestock Committee are protesting against a Mercosur beef deal outside the EU Commission offices in Dublin this morning (Monday, June 24th).
Speaking before the protest, the IFA leader said: “We will be there to oppose EU Commission plans to sell out Irish farming in a deal with the devil that is Brazil and its new President Bolsonaro,”
“It is totally unacceptable that the Commission is prepared to sacrifice Irish and European farmers, but they are also giving the green light to the further destruction of rainforests.”
“Farmers are sick of the double speak from the EU Commission which lectures us on climate change, but is prepared do a deal with a country with a climate destruction agenda,” he added.
Healy stressed that at a time when the EU is on the brink of losing the UK market with Brexit, it is “reckless” of the Commission to agree to a deal which would see tens of thousands of tons of substandard beef from Brazil and other South American countries come onto the European market.
“The Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office has volumes of reports which expose in stark terms the failure of the Brazilian authorities, in particular, to meet EU standards on animal welfare, traceability, food safety and the environment,” he said.
“We hear a lot about the size of the Irish cattle herd, which is under seven million. Yet Brazil has 230 million cattle, with a further 53 million in Argentina. The EU Commission will have no credibility if they proceed with this deal."
“Irish farmers are rightly asking how the EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan can stand idly by and allow EU negotiators to show such a blatant disregard for EU standards,” he concluded.
Image source: Irish Farmers’ Association \ Twitter