• Question: Is there any way to get the Irish government to put more money into our native breeds to protect biodiversity

    Asked by Anon to Laura, Erin, Dara, Catherine, Caitriona, Alan on 26 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Alan Matthews

      Alan Matthews answered on 26 Nov 2016:

      Thanks for this important question. As you are probably aware, the government does have an objective to increase populations of local animals in danger of being lost to farming and does provide support to the long-term survival of native breeds. This support is given through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s agri-environment-climate programmes (previously the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) and now the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme – GLAS). Under both schemes, a payment of €200 per animal is provided for animals of specified native breeds eligible for support. This payment is intended to cover the additional cost of registering the animal with the recognised breed society and maintaining animal records, as well as compensating for the income foregone due to the uneconomic nature of these breeds.
      I am not sure if you think that the payment provided is too low. However, it is the maximum allowed under the relevant EU Regulation 1305/2013. It is then up to farmers to decide if this payment makes it sufficiently attractive to invest in conserving these native breeds.