Expansion of calf investment scheme welcomed as “essential” to protect farmers

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Galway Daily news Expansion of calf investment scheme welcomed as

The recent decision to massively expand funding for the Calf Investment Scheme has been welcomed as an important support for farmers in the Covid-19 crisis.

In light of the pressure that the Covid-19 pandemic has put on the sector, the Department of Agriculture increased the budget of the Calf Investment Scheme from €1.5 million to €4 million.

Galway East TD Seán Canney has welcomed the move, saying that this was an “essential measure” to support farmers who were already under pressure due to Brexit.

The Independent deputy added that this is just one of several measures which have been taken to support farmers in the Covid-19 crisis.

Inspections to qualify for farm payments have been suspended up to May 5, but this shouldn’t affect farmers ability to receive payments Canney said.

BVD tagging and testing of calves will continue as normal with farm organisations offering assistance where farmers are unable to submit samples, while regulations for TB testing have been made more flexible.

Transport of animals and use of knackeries are deemed essential services and are not affected by COVID-19 regulations, while limited mart operations are continuing with restrictions and guidelines.

“These are sensible practical responses to the crisis we are all facing,” Sean Canney said.

“It is vital that we continue to offer as much support as possible to the farmers and producers who are critical to our food supply chain.”