Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony says the government
must take urgent action to safeguard the livelihoods of farmers’ in the beef
sector. Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting ahead of a Fianna Fáil private
members’ motion which is to be debated in Dáil Éireann this evening.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony explained, “While the Government regularly criticises
the opposition for highlighting problems and not putting forward solutions, we
in Fianna Fáil have proposed many measures which would alleviate the horrendous
situation farmers are in.

“We have 14 policy actions which we believe the Government must accept
immediately. These include seeking market disturbance aid from the EU as
pertained under CAP; opening the Brexit Loan Scheme for farmers; increasing
live exports of calves by enhancing lairage capacity; ensuring that the next
CAP is fully funded to provide a €200 suckler cow payment as well as the introduction
of a beef market index.

“We are also calling for a full review of the QPS grid and more robust measures
around carcase trim and grading, including publishing details of on-the-spot
fines for factories breaching carcase trimming rules. It is also my party’s
view that a new independent authority is required to enforce the new EU
Directive on unfair trading practices to ensure farmers buy in.

“The beef sector and suckler farmers are at their wits end. They can take no
more from a Government which has only shown ambivalence to their challenges.
Hard Brexit or soft Brexit, both scenarios are bad for the farming sector the
difference being that hard Brexit could decimate it entirely”, concluded Deputy
Murphy O’Mahony.