• Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

Dairy Industry and the Environment – The Irish Times

Dairy Industry and the Environment – The Irish Times

Sir, – Eddie Molloy (Letters, July 13) writes about pollution of rivers and lakes as another “dirty secret” of the dairy industry. Global wildlife populations have declined by 70 percent since the 1970s, an irreversible ecosystem destruction he refers to.

In Ireland, the number of adult salmon returning to shore has fallen from two million in the late 1970s to 250,000 in recent years. Of course, water pollution isn’t the only environmental impact — agriculture remains the largest single source of national emissions, at 38.4 percent.

He concludes by saying that he expects Agriculture Minister Charlie McConnell to declare that water pollution as a result of dairy farming is “absolutely unacceptable”. He may wait a little longer, as the minister led a trade delegation to China in May as part of efforts to boost Irish beef exports. — Yours, etc

Stephen Keegan,

Dun Laoghaire,

Co. Dublin.

Sir, – If people think the abuse of calves is bad, what will the RTÉ cameras find if they point at the export of live cattle from Ireland to non-EU countries? Irish cattle started traveling on one-way tickets to countries such as Algeria, Turkey, Libya, Israel and Egypt.

The sea voyages involved are too long to guarantee a satisfactory level of animal welfare. Conditions for animals in destination countries are well below the minimum legal standards required in Ireland.

A live farm animal export trade that puts profit above animal welfare and respect for standards should be consigned to trade history. Live-animal exports represent an outdated attitude to animal welfare, and the farming community refuses to embrace modern thinking when it comes to animal welfare and economic reality. — Yours, etc

John Tierney,


Waterford Animal Concern,


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