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Tag Archives: ICSA

Farmers protest at regional vet lab

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), along with ICMSA, this morning (Wednesday) mounted a protest at the Regional Veterinary Laboratory in Knockalisheen, Meelick over the possible closure of the facility. The protest was scheduled to coincide with a trip to lab by a review group from the Department of Agriculture and was led by ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch and rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock. Speaking at the protest, the ICSA general secretary said, “This proposal makes no sense at all. The lab is a vital resource with helping farmers determine the cause of mortality and with helping them get on top of infectious diseases another animal health issues as soon as possible. Closing it down will have a huge detrimental effect on animal health and welfare. It will also hinder farmers efforts to be more efficient in reducing mortality. We had an exchange of views with the Department officials here and we will be having further discussions …

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Farmers cautioned on loan scheme

ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has called on local farmers to be cautious if availing of the new 2.95% loan scheme. The scheme, which will be operated by the banks, utilises a combination of funding from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and an interest subsidy funded jointly by the EU and the exchequer. “While ICSA welcomes low interest rates in general, it is vital that farmers carefully assess their borrowing capacity. The new scheme is being promoted partly on the basis that the loans are unsecured. While this may lead to a faster and more efficient approval process, farmers should not assume that they will be immune from making full repayments. Even in the case of an unsecured loan, banks are fully entitled to seek a court judgement, which could be registered against the farmer’s assets. The message is that these loans should only be used by farmers who have carefully weighed up their repayment capacity and have …

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Support for vulnerable farmers

ICSA Rural Development chairman Seamus Sherlock has expressed concerns for the health and well-being of vulnerable farmers, who are experiencing difficulties coping with bad prices and the recent bad weather. Mr Sherlock was speaking ahead of a meeting on Rural Isolation and Mental Health in farming to be held in Carrigaholt on this Thursday evening. “ICSA understands what these farmers are going through and we will support them through these difficult times. The reality of the situation is often very different to public opinion. Poor prices coupled with high costs makes farming very difficult and stressful. Bad weather is also placing a very heavy burden on already struggling farmers”, said Mr Sherlock. “The fodder crisis of 2013 is still ingrained in many farmers’ minds and I hope lessons have been learned by government so that this will never be allowed to develop again. I am looking forward to meeting the people of west Clare on Thursday night and I will …

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Farm leader’s warning on sheep attacks

Following an attack in Cork last week, which resulted in the deaths of a ram and seven pedigree ewes, ICSA sheep chairman, John Brooks has urged dog-owners to be responsible and ensure that they are secure at all times. “All dogs, from cherished family pets to prized working dogs, can potentially cause serious distress and damage if they are not kept under control. Sheep are completely defenceless, and it is absolutely vital that we do all we can to protect them from attack,” said Mr. Brooks. “One of our members in Cork recently came home to find that eight of his pedigree Zwartbles sheep, a key component of his breeding stock, had been brutally attacked and were either dead or near death as a result.” “I would call on all dog owners to ensure that they do their duty and keep their dogs under control at all times to avoid these horrible scenes.”

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Call for re-think on hen harrier protection

ICSA rural development chairman, Billy Gray has called for a complete re-think on how to protect the hen harrier, an endangered bird that is found in the East Clare/South Galway region. Recent extensive gorse fires in the area increased concerns for the long term future of the bird. Mr Gray argues that the Government response to the hen harrier is a denial of reality which will not safeguard the bird but will continue to have a devastating impact on farmers with hen harrier designation. “The GLAS scheme is of some help to farmers with smaller areas of designation, but it is inadequate for many farmers,” said Mr. Gray. “The ban on afforestation needs to be reviewed as there are considerable doubts about whether it is actually warranted or whether a more nuanced approach could yield better results. Most importantly, the Government needs to wake up to the reality that the hen harrier cannot thrive in rural communities if its presence …

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ICSA beef up protest at ploughing championships

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) campaign threatening to withdraw from the Quality Assurance Scheme has met with a phenomenal response at the National Ploughing Championships in County Laois this week. “Since our stand opened on Tuesday morning, there has been a constant stream of farmers coming in to sign up,” said organisation president, Patrick Kent. “The anger out there is palpable among beef farmers, and this was reflected in the frank exchange of views with Minister Simon Coveney at the ICSA stand. ICSA again outlined the urgent need for a regulator for the meat industry. Farmers who came in to commit to withdrawal from the Quality Assurance Scheme were also hugely supportive of ICSA’s call for such a regulator,” he continued. Mr Kent stressed farmers want to see a successful beef export business and are committed to the highest standards. “ICSA believes it is not too late to pull back from this campaign if there are meaningful …

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Farmers urged to work safely

Ahead this Thursday’s HSA/Teagasc national conference on farm safety and health in Kilkenny, the ICSA has urged Clare  farmers to engage fully with the issue. “Farmers can no longer ignore this issue,” said John Flynn, a member of the ICSA’s Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (FSPAC). “There are many different resources available to farmers, including DVDs, meetings and conferences like this one, and the onus is now on farmers to make use of these.” Mr Flynn also called on Teagasc to explore new ways to encourage farmers to give greater consideration to farm safety. “Older farmers particularly need more encouragement in this area, and while we acknowledge the good work being done by Teagasc, courses and materials need to be made more accessible for all farmers, such as running courses in the evenings rather than during the day,” he said.

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ICSA concerns over beef cattle

ICSA beef chairman, Edmond Phelan has called for an end to the 30-month age specification for beef cattle. “The 30-month rule is a relic of the past, introduced as an emergency measure in the fight against a disease which has long-since been contained,” said Mr Phelan. “It is now being used by the meat industry to dampen the market through over-supply.” “Peak calving months are March and April, and this issue will be particularly evident over the next few weeks, as more than 500,000 beef calves born in March and April 2012 are now approaching 30 months and there is an artificial urgency to sell these animals now to avoid penalties.” “This is an example of the manipulation of the Quality Payments System to penalise rather than reward farmers, and ICSA intends to ensure that this artificial market impediment is raised at the next beef roundtable meeting.”

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