Government officials in Ireland are considering a plan to kill 200,000 cows to combat climate change, according to reports.
There were multiple reports this week that the Irish government was contemplating a plan to cull 200,000 cows within three years to fight climate change. The Irish Mirror stated that “the cows would have to be ‘culled’ at a cost of €600,000 to taxpayers over the next three years to meet climate emissions targets.”
The possible plan was detailed in an internal Department of Agriculture document that was unearthed in a freedom of information request.
The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association immediately railed against the reported plan to kill 200,000 cows.
Pat McCormack – the president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association – declared, “If there is to be a scheme, it needs to be a voluntary scheme. That’s absolutely critical because there’s no point in culling numbers from an individual who has borrowed on the back of a huge financial commitment on the back of achieving a certain target that’s taken from under him.”
“We should be investing in an infrastructure that can deliver from a scientific perspective. And we know low emissions are better and we should be continuing to invest in further science and research because that’s absolutely critical as we move forward,” McCormack said, according to the Irish Times.
McCormack claimed that Ireland’s current dairy herd is at the same level that it was 30 years ago. The Irish Mirror reported, “Dairy cows rose 1.4 percent (22,800 head) to 1.6 million in 2022 but over the past decade have increased by around 40 percent.”
After the report of the government contemplating the slaughter of tens of thousands of cows surfaced, the country’s agriculture department issued a statement.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said, “The paper referred to was part of a deliberative process – it is one of a number of modeling documents considered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and is not a final policy decision. As part of the normal work of Government Departments, various options for policy implementation are regularly considered.”
Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency claimed that agriculture was responsible for 38% of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland in 2021, far outpacing transportation at nearly 18%.
The Food Vision Dairy Group published a report last October calling for an “urgent need to address the negative environmental impacts associated with dairy expansion.”
Shortly after the release of the report, Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture ,Charlie McConalogue, publicly proposed that farmers reduce the number of dairy cows.
Experts say proposals to significantly reduce the levels of livestock present food security issues.
Brett Moline, spokesperson for the Wyoming Farm Bureau, told Cowboy State Daily, “It’s going to make food expensive, and we still have a large part of the population that is food-insecure.”
Moline warned that if the U.S. and U.K shut down food production then it will move to countries with questionable environmental regulations.
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