Crazy laws by governments are slaughtering entire sectors. Thousands of farmers are at risk of bankruptcy. Following Holland, trainers and farmers took to the streets in protest in Ireland.
Ireland has 7.3 million cattle, far more than humans, and has a long history with the breed. Agriculture dominated the Irish economy until the 20th century.
The country’s 135,000 farms produce 37.5% of national emissions. This is the highest share in the European Union. Much of that comes from methane emitted by cows, their dung, and belching and burping from ruminants.
Farmers and their allies have accused the coalition government, which includes the Green Party, of scapegoating the countryside and leaving farmers with no choice but to reduce herds. There have never been any violent protests in Ireland like those among the Dutch peasantry.
Until recently, the Irish government encouraged dairy farmers to make the most of EU milk quotas. Farmers have invested in new equipment and the dairy herd has nearly halved in the past decade. Butter, cheese and other Irish products, 90% of exports, fill supermarket shelves around the world.
“We have only talked about what dairy can bring to the economy and society, and we have done our best for that. Now he’s the scapegoat,” said Pat McCormack, head of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association.
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