UK, IRELAND - Farming organisations in the UK and Ireland are calling on governments to ensure farmers are remembered during the clean-up operation, following severe flooding in both countries caused by Storm Desmond.
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) Deputy President Tim O’Leary and Flood Project Chairman Tom Turley met with government agriculture officials on Monday to highlight the extent of the damage.
The IFA asked for flexibility in relation to the movement of animals to be put in place, in consultation with District Veterinary Offices.
The organisation also suggested that all outstanding support payments be made to farmers in affected areas, that flexibility is shown in relation to issues surrounding the disposal of slurry in overflowing tanks, and that no cross compliance checks take pace in the affected areas.
Following the announcement of a €5m fund to aid businesses that have suffered damage to their property in the current flooding, Mr Turley insisted farmers must be included in the payments.
Farm businesses have been severely affected and have suffered financial losses, and they deserve the same treatment as businesses in urban areas, Mr Turley said.
The UK's National Farmers' Union (NFU) also asked government to ensure help is provided for farmers in the recovery effort.
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “Members have reported major incidents such as landslides which have wreaked havoc with their farmland, they have also told us of power cuts which have made running the business almost impossible, and have raised concerns about scheduled dairy collections and animal feed deliveries, which may be lost.
“We have been given reports locally of cereals crops being destroyed and cattle being moved to higher ground to prevent huge losses to livestock. Reports have been received of sheep being lost to the flooding in some areas.”
In response to Monday’s government pledge to make restoration of power and transport networks a priority, Mr Raymond added: “We strongly urge support for those of our members with fallen stock disposal, who require urgent repair to flood damaged property and help with feed delivery and milk collection.
"We need government and agencies to make it easier for farmers repairing flood damage to land, walls and fences, and to remove rubbish and debris, which is a threat to livestock welfare. In the longer term, we need more resilient channels and bridges able to cope with rapid run-off."
TheCattleSite News Desk