IFA Protest as Beef Sector is 'Sold Out'

IRELAND - Members of the IFA (Irish Farmers' Association) National Livestock Committee led by Chairman Michael Doran held a protest outside the office of the Tanaiste and Minister Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Couglan in Kildare St, Dublin yesterday.
calendar icon 29 July 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Speaking at the protest, Michael Doran said Irish livestock farmers believe they are being sold out by EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson at the WTO negotiations in Geneva. “Peter Mandelson has inflicted savage cuts on the Irish beef and livestock sector and Mary Coughlan must come out and tell him that the WTO deal on agriculture is unacceptable to Ireland,” he said.

Michael Doran again called on the Tanaiste to use the veto and said it would be too little, too late to withhold it until after Geneva. He said the damage will be done by Mandelson at that stage.

He said Europe in now offering Brazil 1.8 million tonnes of beef imports, which will wipe out the Irish livestock industry. Mr Doran reminded the Tanaiste that similar concessions in WTO closed down sugar beet growing in Ireland.

He said “A WTO deal based on the current proposed cuts for beef would decimate the Irish beef and livestock sector. It would demolish our 1 million head suckler cow herd, and force 50,000 livestock farmers out of business. It would destroy the important beef processing sector and result in the loss of our hard-earned quality beef markets in the UK and across Europe.”

Michael Doran said livestock farmers cannot understand why the Tanaiste Mary Coughlan and the Irish Government would want to hand over beef markets for over 500,000 tonnes of Irish beef exports to the Brazilians and other South Americans.

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