Department: ‘No plans at present’ to reduce ANC stocking requirements

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued its response to a proposal for a reduction in the retention period for Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) eligibility as a method to ease pressure on farmers and marts.

The proposal was outlined by the Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS) last Thursday, March 24.

In a response to this proposal, a spokesperson for the department said:

There are no plans at present to reduce the stocking density requirements for the ANC scheme but this will be kept under constant review.

In his call for the reduction in requirements on Thursday, ICOS livestock and environment executive Ray Doyle explained that such a measure would: allow farmers a longer time-frame to purchase the animals needed to comply with the stocking density requirements of the scheme; greatly assist their economic viability; and avoid the compression of sales into a short time-frame in the marts.

‘Measures must secure entire food supply chain’

Meanwhile, earlier today, Tuesday, March 24, ICOS president Jerry Long said that it is vital, throughout this national public health emergency, that we can preserve our agri-food supply chain in its entirety.

There are a huge number of vital services required to keep our safe food production system running; we need feed, fertiliser, fuel, veterinary supplies, animal movement, milk recording, artificial insemination, milking machine service and repair, hardware supplies and so on.

“Our farming businesses are quite complex operations now, and the authorities must recognise that fact when we inevitably move towards tighter movement restrictions,” Long stressed.