Fodder transport support measures extended

The fodder transport support measures currently in place have been extended by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

The minister announced today that he has extended the duration of both the fodder import and the fodder transport support measures for an additional week.

These measures were originally scheduled to conclude on Monday, April 30 – but they will now run until Monday, May 7.

Commenting on the move, Minister Creed said: “While the weather has improved and grass growth continues to improve significantly, there are farmers in some parts of the country who still need to locate fodder for their animals.

Having reviewed the situation and listened to the views of members of the representative fodder group I established in March, I have decided that extending the closing date for the two measures for one further week is appropriate.

Demand for fodder has reduced significantly, the department claims. However, there remains some areas where land is not yet sufficiently dry to graze livestock and there is still a short-term demand for fodder, it added.

Concluding, Minister Creed reaffirmed that “these measures are effectively addressing issues around fodder availability”.

He also chose to remind farmers that the animal welfare emergency assistance continues to operate where animal welfare is seriously at risk via the emergency helpline numbers. People can call: 0761-064408 or phone: 01-6072379.

The minister’s decision comes as calls were made in the Dail today to extend the schemes; farm organisations also hold these views.

The president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) Pat McCormack called for the schemes to be extended on the grounds that the crisis is still ongoing and that the schemes are still required.

McCormack outlined that ground conditions remain very difficult throughout the country and he urged the minister to stand by his assurance that the schemes would be kept operative until the worst of the fodder crisis is past.

He claimed that, at this stage, farmers are far from being “in the clear“. The president maintains that it is crucial that the minister keeps the import scheme in place for another four weeks, with animals still housed in many parts of the country.