‘It’s discrimination that Mayo sheep farmers are not eligible for commercial tax’

A candidate representing Fianna Fail in the Ballina, Co. Mayo, local elections has claimed that sheep farmers with no cattle in the county are “not eligible to tax their vehicles as commercial”.

Crossmolina local Eamon Moore explained: “What sheep farmers are telling me is that when going in to tax their vehicles, they give their herd number and then are asked about bovine in their herd. If they have no bovine on their farm; they cannot tax the vehicle as being used for commercial purposes.”

Moore added that he has received “40 or 50 phone calls from sheep farmers” in relation to the matter.

He explained: “This rule is exclusive to Mayo and is not fair; it’s discrimination. How can young farmers be incentivised to stay on the land with regulations like this?” he asked.

In Co. Mayo we have over 400,000 sheep and 5,000 flocks and to think some farmers are being discriminated against because they only have sheep is unfair and ridiculous.

Continuing, Moore said: “This is a huge problem because in Mayo, we have a large number of farmers who exclusively keep sheep.

“The cost of privately taxing 4X4 vehicles for farming is a lot more expensive,” he added.

“If sheep farmers don’t have a commercial vehicle, how are they going to move their sheep? Are they going to put them after the back of the car or walk them along the road? It’s not possible,” Moore concluded.