INHFA calls for pause on farm inspections as weather crisis deepens

The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) are calling for a pause in all farm inspections as farmers struggle to cope with difficult weather conditions. Speaking on this National Vice President John Joe Fitzgerald outlined how “farmers are under enormous pressure and this is something all State Bodies need to take into consideration.”

Across all sectors of farming the unrelenting rainfall is taking a toll. This Fitzgerald stated “can be seen through increased costs, heightened stress levels and a never-increasing workload that has left many farmers exhausted.”

“Unfortunately, with no improvement in the weather forecast these concerns will remain and this is why it is vital that we don’t add to them through inspections that could be deferred until the weather improves and farmers are in a better place” added the INHFA Vice President.

While Department of Agriculture inspections are the main inspection farmers could be facing Fitzgerald detailed how “any pause should also include all State Bodies such as County Councils, National Parks and Wildlife Services, Environmental Protection Agency.”

Beyond the need to pause inspections there is he continued “a requirement on the Minister to look at possible financial supports through a fodder scheme that must be timely and substantial.”

There has he stated, “been a number of fodder support schemes in the past so the rollout of any possible scheme shouldn’t be a major issue, what we need is a commitment on a budget and a timescale.”

In concluding the farm leader emphasised “how nothing is permanent and definitely not our weather. Farmers have seen difficult weather periods before and got through them and this will be the same.  However, it is vital that we don’t add to the considerable pressure that farmers are currently trying to cope with and this is why we are looking for a pause in farm inspections.”