Fianna Fáil has today published 12 actions that Minister Creed and the Government must urgently implement to avert an animal welfare and farmer welfare crisis later this year as a result of the shortage of fodder in the country.

Agriculture Spokesperson, Charlie McConalogue TD said, “The reasons for the fodder crisis are well known – storms before Christmas, excessively wet weather in the spring and, until recently, a prolonged dry and warm spell.

“It is crucial that Minister Creed now takes immediate action and initiates all appropriate interventions available to help mitigate what is going to be a very serious fodder crisis this winter. The financial implications cannot be overstated – with farmers’ income down due to poor crops and reduced prices while also facing into paying high prices for concentrates and very scarce fodder supplies.

“Central to our proposals is the establishment of a nationally financed hardship fund to aid farmers who are under particular financial pressure to cope with the difficult months ahead.  This is crucial and can be done if the will is there from the Minister and the Government as a whole.

“Food and Horticulture Spokesperson, Jackie Cahill TD added, “Farmers are at their wits ends. Fodder that was being stored for use later this year and in early 2019 is being used to feed animals right now. They have no idea how they will feed their animals later this year and it is causing many a sleepless night and severe mental health issues.

“Our proposals are rooted in common sense, and an understanding of the needs of farmers. Minister Creed must take his head out from the sand and start taking decisions. If a response doesn’t start right now, farmers and rural Ireland will have a very difficult and traumatic year ahead,” concluded Cahill.