200,000 cows need to be culled to reach climate targets

200,000 cows need to be culled to reach climate targets

Do you ever wonder what the government is doing to reach our climate targets?

Well, apparently the answer is to suggest paying farmers to kill their cows!

Government documents have revealed that dairy farmers may have to be paid €600 million to cull almost 200,000 cows so that Ireland can reach its emission targets.

Earlier this year, Charlie McConalogue, the Agricultural Minister, outlined plans to launch a voluntary dairy exit.


The figures for the plan, outlined in the Farming Independent, warn tougher measures are needed if the farming sector is to reach 2025 targets.

It says 65,000 cows must be culled over the next three years, which would cost roughly €200 million annually.

Beef cows are already in decline with a 10% reduction in dairy cows being suggested.

This reduction wouldn't even be enough on its own.


It's estimated that a total of 740,000 animals will need to be culled in the coming years.


Some have accused the government of trying to undermine the dairy and livestock sectors.

Others are absolutely shocked by the proposals, with Tipperary-native Tim Cullinane among those.

He is the President of the Irish Farmers Association and says this will cause a break in trust between the government and farmers.


"All this is doing is fuelling a view that government continue to work behind the scenes to undermine our entire dairy and livestock sectors," he told Newstalk.

Tim added that farmers are already taking action to reduce emissions.

"Currently, with the measures that farmers are doing, we can reduce our emissions by 18% of the 25%," he said.

The 25% he is referring to is in relation to the target that was set for the Agricultural sector by the government last year.

It had been told that it must reduce emissions by 25%, something that Tim publically criticised.

"It would be a huge challenge for farmers. There would be a huge cost involved, but we were up for the challenge and we are up for that challenge," he said.

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