Farming

Louth IFA lobby TDs and Senators ahead of Sinn Féin motion to reject Mercosur

Fianna Fail expected to vote against Government

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Louth IFA lobby TDs and Senators ahead of Sinn Féin motion to reject Mercosur

Denis Brennan, Kilsarn IFA, Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein TD, Gerard Melia, Louth IFA County Chairman & Peter McEneaney, Louth IFA Livestock Chairman

Louth IFA members were among farmers who were present at the lobby day yesterday on the EU Mercosur trade deal.

Described by the IFA in a press statement as the 'sell-out EU Mercosur trade deal', IFA President Joe Healy said Fianna Fail has confirmed that they will vote against the Government on the Sinn Fein motion on the Mercosur deal due to be voted on today.

Such a move would mean the Government would be defeated on the matter and the Dail would have its opposition to the deal put on record.

During the Dáil debate, Business, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Heather Humphreys confirmed that the EU Mercosur deal is a ‘mixed’ agreement, requiring the involvement of Dáil Eireann in its ratification process. 

In relation to the absolute commitment provided by the EU Commission this week that all Mercosur imports must meet 100% of EU requirements, Joe Healy said it is clear that the current beef imports of 269,000 tonnes fail this at every step.

Mr Healy added that in Brazil, cattle are not tagged, there is no database and no traceability. Hormones, beta-agonists and other growth promoters are widely available and used, according to the IFA man, and these products are illegal and banned in the EU. He also added that Brazil has endemic foot and mouth disease.

On environmental degradation, the IFA president said Brazil is burning an Amazon rainforest area the equivalent size of a football pitch every minute to make way for cattle ranching and additional beef exports.