Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, says the agenda for the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture tomorrow must be changed so an emergency discussion can take place on the fodder crisis in the country.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “I have personally written to the Chair of the Agriculture Committee to ask that the agenda for tomorrow’s Committee meeting be amended to facilitate an emergency discussion on this emerging national livestock crisis. I have also requested the presence of the Minister for Agriculture at the meeting, so he can finally answer questions on what measures the Government has taken in addressing the crisis. To date, the Minister has utterly failed farmers.
“One of the most disappointing aspects of this has been Minister Coveney’s refusal to appear before the Dáil to outline the Government’s position on this.
“The Minister has dodged and floundered. Cattle are starving and dying; farmers cannot afford to feed them. They have no money to purchase feed for their livestock; their reserves of silage and hay were used up during the harsh winter and terrible summer we had last year.
“Farmers are at the end of their tether and we need some political leadership from Minister Coveney. The rhetoric coming from the Minister has been appalling. Asking farmers to give up non-existent reserves of silage and writing to the banks is not good enough. Unless drastic, meaningful action is taken urgently; many more farmers will go under and many more cattle will die.
“The Minister needs to appear before the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee to finally outline what solutions he has planned to alleviate the plight of farmers all over the country.”