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‘Swift and decisive action’ needed to save sheep sector – INHFA

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) is calling on Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue to take “swift and decisive action” to save the sheep sector from further decline.

INHFA national vice-president Micheal McDonnell said there is a need for “a meaningful ewe top-up package” which would provide “the necessary financial lifeline” to sheep farmers.

“It is imperative that we safeguard the livelihoods of those dedicated farmers who contribute significantly to Ireland’s agricultural output and the sustainability of our rural communities,” he said.

McDonnell said the “week-on-week” fall in lamb prices is putting the sector in a “dire position”.

He said this scenario was predicted by the INHFA last spring when he called on Minister McConalogue to introduce enhanced supports for sheep farmers.

INHFA

“Unfortunately, the situation will also be compounded by the delayed payment of Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme which will impact cash flow and have a knock-on effect on the sale of store lambs and breeding ewe sales particularly for hill sheep,” McDonnell said.

“The pressure weighing down on the store lamb price has been further exacerbated by the fact that many traditional tillage farmers, who were crucial in the lamb store market, are no longer engaged in the practice.

“This shift in behavior is primarily attributed to the new Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC) rules for tillage farmers, which have discouraged them from planting crops for sheep,” the INHFA vice-president added.

McDonnell said this change is having “a profound and alarming effect” on the sheep sector.

“We are calling on the minister to review and apply amendments to have this situation reversed,” he said.

“This ongoing fall in the market price comes on the heels of the sheep grappling sector with increased costs, including those associated with shearing, while simultaneously facing the predicament of no market for wool.

“In addition to this, the past year has witnessed rising expenses related to feed, fertilize, and veterinary products all of which have added to the precarious state the sector now finds itself in,” McDonnell said.

The INHFA vice-president said that “the sheep sector is at a critical juncture, and without immediate intervention, its future is uncertain and this is why we are calling on the government to act immediately and ensure the survival of this vital industry.”

William

I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

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