Farmers in Sligo-Leitrim ‘going hungry to feed their animals’

TDs call for government action to relieve hardship owners suffering in trying to source fodder for livestock.

Sligo News File.

Local TDs are demanding Government action to ease what they say is the “huge hardship” farmers in Sligo-Leitrim are suffering as they try to source fodder for their livestock.

Eamon Scanlon,TD

Eamon Scanlon told the Dail that owing to increases in the price of hay and silage a scheme introduced by the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to subsidise the purchase of fodder has turned out to be of “no benefit to farmers at all.” Silage, he said, has soared by €12 while the price of hay has increased by €8 per bale.

Describing the situation as a “health issue” for many farmers, Scanlon said he was now calling for farmers to be “front-loaded by €1,000 to help them to survive and to feed
their families and their stock over the next month.”

He said the farmers will get the money eventually, “but it would make a lot of difference if they got it now.”

Tony McLoughlin said he and Scanlon had met with farmer representatives about the problem, particularly for farmers in disadvantaged areas.

Tony McLoughlin, T.D.

“It is important that we make provisions for the west of Ireland as there are huge hardships in the constituency we represent,” he said.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney the matter was primarily one for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. He brought in a fodder transport scheme to respond to the very
wet weather.

“There is enough fodder in Ireland,” he said, “it is about moving it around and getting it to the farms which need it, and that is why transport costs were the focus.

“If farmers are in extreme circumstances and there are animal welfare consequences of a lack of availability of fodder, they should contact the Department directly. They will
get direct help immediately for animal welfare issues linked to fodder.

Tanaiste, Simon Coveney TD

Scanlon said, “Some farmers are going hungry to feed their animals.”