An independent TD has called on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to grant an extension to the slurry spreading deadline.
As it stands, tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15th) will be the last day that farmers will be allowed to spread slurry this year – with the closed period coming to an end in January.
“These ministers need to cop on and grant the extension until the end of this month. Farmers do not want to spread slurry in poor conditions; that is just common sense.” Michael Fitzmaurice stress.
“Common sense must prevail in this matter. Irish farmers have had to put up with consistent rainfall since early August.”
'Slurry flowing into rivers'
Making reference to the status yellow rainfall warning issued by Met Éireann, Fitzmaurice said: “We are being warned about the risk of localised flooding. How can farmers possibly spread slurry in conditions like this?
“Do Ministers Creed and Murphy want to see slurry flowing into rivers? All because of a date that they had the power to extend, but didn’t.”
“But they are being backed into a corner. Farmers, particularly in the west of Ireland, have spread little or no slurry in the past two months.”
He said that farmers are now being forced to house cattle early as field conditions deteriorate, adding that opportunities to spread slurry have been limited in recent weeks due to weather and ground conditions.
He stressed that if the extension is not granted, an animal welfare issue will arise in a number of weeks when tanks are at capacity.
“Both Minister Creed and Murphy have an important decision to make; and they better not delay,” Fitzmaurice concluded.