A resolution to a EU-Mercosur trade agreement looks not to be reached by the end of the year, despite Argentina’s enthusiasm to announce it at their WTO conference on Dec 13. The differences between the bloc’s centres on beef. The EU has offer to take 35,000t fresh beef and 35000t frozen beef from (which is the Southern Common Market made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and the currently suspended Venezuela). There are 11 EU members who are opposed to the deal as it stands, including Ireland. Mercosur on the other hand believes the quotas are too small and amount to just two burgers per EU resident per year.
25% of Galway farmers received penalties in 2017 from the Department of Agriculture according to Michael Fitzmaurice TD. The “Yellow Card” system was introduced which gave farmers up to one month to fix items following an inspection. However, the TD feels the penalties are not equitable because direct payments in Galway were ‘small’.
South Kerry reported the worst outbreak of tuberculosis in living memory. The frequent movement of animals in the area was cited as a cause for the spread of TB. Badgers have been identified as the source of many of the outbreaks.
Johne’s disease is on the increase, especially in intensive dairy farming areas where 20% to 50% of herds are infected. Johne’s disease in animals is similar to Crohn’s disease in humans. The disease reduces an animals’ production capabilities, including lower milk yields.