ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has welcomed clarification that existing sheds can be converted into slatted sheds under TAMS II but has called for greater flexibility in grant aiding the upgrading of old sheds.
Mr. Brooks was commenting on the confirmation by Minister Coveney in response to a question from the opposition spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív regarding the potential to convert existing loose sheds into slatted sheds.
“At last, we are seeing some signs of a common sense approach to cost effective investment on farms. However, while there may be some farmers who can find a safe and practical design for converting to a slatted shed, there are many more farmers who have existing slatted or loose sheds who need to upgrade them. I am thinking about sheds built back in the seventies or eighties where there is a need to replace the sheeting on the roof or retrofit galvanised gates and internal barriers and divisions, as well as water facilities.”
This kind of work urgently needs to be done on many farms and it would be much more beneficial for many cattle and sheep farmers for whom new buildings are out of the question. We need grants that are practical and cost effective for the majority of farmers. Farmers in their fifties and sixties still need good facilities but they are at a stage in their farming career where expensive new facilities with a long payback period are not realistic.”