Pressure: ‘We need to look after our farmers’ welfare’

The European Parliament has been called upon to remember the importance of human as well as animal welfare, and to remember that farmers are under huge pressure from the seasonal demands of agriculture.

Farmers’ thoughts

Addressing the EU Parliament last week, MEP and first vice-president of the parliament Mairead McGuinness said: “I’m going to use my time to make a related comment because I think, if people are watching this programme, many farmers that I meet at meetings would say that the European Union cares more about animals than humans.

“And I think, particularly at this time, where we have had dreadful storms across Europe and where snow and wind and rain have made conditions for our farmers really, really stressful; we should acknowledge that human welfare is also very important on our farms and for our farm families.

Many of them are under huge pressure to keep milking cows to calving season and lambs being born.

“I think we should acknowledge the mental pressures and the physical toll that this takes on them, and that very often when we talk here in these rooms about imposing more standards on them, we neglect to look at how this impacts on those individuals and farm families,” the MEP said.

Respect

Concluding, McGuinness said: “I’m glad the issue is on our agenda, animal welfare is everyone’s responsibility; the people we require it to deliver are our farmers and we should remember that they are under incredible pressure and we should acknowledge that and give them due respect.”