America Next? Irish Farmers Face Killing 41,000 Healthy Cows Over Regulations to Fight ‘Climate Change’

More than 40,000 Irish cows are in danger of being on the receiving end of an “animal welfare catastrophe,” according to one farming politician, although it appeared more likely that the cows will be saved by applying government funds to wastewater management. Ireland, which remained a member of the European Union even after the United Kingdom withdrew from the multinational body, has been granted an exception to rules designed to limit the amount of nitrate levels produced by agricultural activities. However, because of what the Irish Examiner called “water quality issues,” the country’s allowance of 250 kgs (about 550 lbs) of nitrates per hectare for some farmers will fall to 220 kg (485 lbs) at the first of the year. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, excess nitrate in the environment “exacerbates climate change and depletes the ozone layer.” Nitrates enter the environment “from the use of synthetic fertilizers, the discharge of wastewater or the combustion of fossil fuels,” according to the UNEP, all of which would obviously be connected with dairy farming. Thus, the purported need to reduce the number of cattle per hectare. (A hectare is 10,000 square meters, or about 2.5 acres — just under 12,000 square yards.) Cork South West Senator Tim Lombard has called on the nation’s Ministry of Agriculture to step in to prevent what he termed a potential “animal welfare catastrophe,” the examiner said. The EU regulations require Irish dairy farmers to reduce the number of head per hectare — either by eliminating animals or increasing their land holdings — or to find some way to deal with their nitrate-polluted water. “Based on an average number of 162 cows on derogation farms and assuming that there are 1000 farmers in each of the three categories (220-230kg, 230-240kg and 240-250kg), this will mean that the potential loss to each individual farmers at 220-230kg is 7 cows, 14 cows at 230-240kg and 20 cows at 240-250kg,” Lombard explained to the Examiner. “This is a loss of 41,000 cows” before the January 1 deadline, he said. Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue’s team was, however, looking to prevent such a slaughter, however, according to a spokesperson cited by the Examiner. “Exporting slurry is expected to be the preferred option where they can for many farmers affected by the nitrates derogation cut in areas where a farmer willing to import slurry can be found,” the spokesperson told the outlet. A proposed spending plan would provide “70% grant aid for slurry storage facilities,” the Examiner said, calling that the “preferred option” over culling herds. “The budget announcement has been welcomed by the sector,” the spokesperson added. “The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and Marine will hold hearings in the coming weeks on all aspects of the nitrates derogation with a view to reporting directly” to the EU, the Examiner reported. The Western Journal has previously reported on a separate proposal to reduce the number of dairy cows in Ireland by about 65,000 annually for three years to meet an unrelated environmental goal of reducing emissions. “Reports like this only serve to further fuel the view that the government is working behind the scenes to undermine our dairy and livestock sectors,” Irish Farmers’ Association president Tim Cullinan said at the time. “While there may well be some farmers who wish to exit the sector, we should all be focusing on providing a pathway for the next generation to get into farming,” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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