Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says fodder crisis in Donegal due to Government inaction

cattle

 

Thomas Pringle TD

April 5th, 2018

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Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle has today said that the fodder crisis in Donegal and the Northwest could have been avoided if the Minister responded to concerns first raised by farmers and public representatives before Christmas of last year.

“Inaction by the Minister has caused the escalation of the fodder crisis in the first place. Initially developing in Donegal and the Northwest, the crisis has extended to all parts of the country as bad weather continues for another month this winter. No longer able to deny the problem the Minister has this week accepted that a shortage exists.

“Farmers have been crying out for supports since the first sign of a shortage. They’ve had proposals at hand to help deal with the escalation but this fell on deaf ears.  I raised the issue of shortage in the Dáil on a number of occasions as have other Deputies but the Minister repeatedly denied any such crisis existed.

This seems to be the way for Fine Gael every time there’s evidence of a growing problem they deny it until it reaches crisis stage, take for example the housing and health crisis.

“The Minister has finally acknowledged the crisis is worsening and but has only responded marginally by citing an importation scheme of fodder from outside the country.  Details however, remain scant and it’s unlikely to be rolled out in time for the worst affected farmers in Donegal.

“We need to see more action and for the Minister to sit down with farmer groups to go over their proposals in an effort to deliver a fully-resourced response.

“The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association for example have recently proposed a number of comprehensive recommendations including: the immediate roll-out of the meal voucher scheme; amending the current Transport Fodder scheme which to date has been too onerous and restrictive for farmer take-up; amending existing GLAS schemes and  for an overall coordinated response by the Department and relevant bodies.

“I will be calling on the Minister to meet with various farmer groups and listen to their proposals. Whatever response carried out now must be 10 fold to acknowledge the unacceptable delay by the Minister to date” concludes Pringle.

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