Kilkenny farmers urged to join national beef protest
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY farmers are being called upon to take part in a national protest, organisers say is necessary to protect their industry.
The beef farmers are objecting the recommendations of the Climate Change Advisory Council, who want to reduce the number of suckler cows by 53%.
The advice was given as part of an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The Beef Plan Movement kicked off national demonstrations today, by peacefully protesting numerous meat plants around the country.
None of the protests today were at factories in Kilkenny or the South East. Organisers are planning further protests in the coming weeks, some of which could take place in Kilkenny.
The protest plans to hit the wider agricultural industry financially by refusing to go to local co-ops; refusing to sell cattle in local marts; refusing to bring cattle to factories; and refusing to shop in local towns.
In reply to these protests the Government, just this morning, announced a €100 million package aimed at countering problems beef farmers face.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the Government and the EU had put together the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure plan.
Combined with the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot introduced earlier this year. It means the sector has received a €120 million boost this year.
Under the exceptional aid plan, farmers receive €100 per animal slaughtered between September 24, 2018, and May 12, 2019, up to a maximum of 100 animals per herd, and a €40 payment per suckler cow calved in 2018, up to 40 suckler calves.
The scheme will open for applications in the middle of next month.