Documents reveal Ireland has budgeted €600m to slaughter 200,000 cows to achieve climate-related emissions reduction goals.
A freedom of information request stated that, to meet 2030 emissions reduction targets, as many as 65,000 cows per year might need to be slaughtered between 2023 and 2025.
“Approximately 60,000-65,000 dairy cows per annum would need to be displaced in 2023, 2024 and 2025,” the documents stated.
“This would allow for some modest growth for new entrants and young farmers (10,000 per year).”
The documents further stated that the government would budget €200 per year for the three years ($875m CAD total) to pull off the scheme, as reported by the Irish Independent.
Furthermore, the document said “if a suckler beef (exit) scheme was launched, it may be permissible for them to diversify into sheep production,” however alternative land use would be “strongly encouraged.”
Government confirms climate cull
Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, has confirmed that the culling scheme is in the works — but said that it will be voluntary.
Meanwhile, President of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, Pat McCormack, told the Newstalk Breakfast podcast on Monday that “If there is to be a scheme, it needs to be a voluntary scheme.”
McCormack also said that it wasn’t fair for the dairy industry, while nothing close seems to be required from other CO2 emitting industries such as aviation.
Agricultural production takes up about 37% of Ireland’s CO2 emissions.
Dutch farmers facing even more pressures
Over in the Netherlands, the European Union approved the Dutch government’s farm buy-out scheme last month, calling it “voluntary” despite Dutch nitrogen minister Christianne van der Wal saying last year that the government purchase will ultimately be compulsory.
In November, to comply with the European Union’s radical climate laws, the Dutch government announced it would force up to 3,000 farms to shut down for good.