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de Brún supports call for EU farming machinery ban to be lifted

12 September, 2008

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has supported the calls by the Ulster Farmers Union to have the ban on using heavy farm machinery on waterlogged ground to be temporarily waived. This follows the sustained period of unprecedented rain levels and recent floods.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"The EU, under the Common Agricultural Policy states that the use of machinery on waterlogged ground is prohibited. This is obviously to protect the soil that is need for future agricultural development.

"However given the extremely high levels of precipitation of the past month, which shows no sign of abating, I would support the temporary lifting of the ban that the UFU has called for.

"Local farmers will have already lost out on crops as many were damaged due to the rainfall levels and recent floods. We need to see this ban temporarily waived in order to see that the remaining crops are harvested successfully and in time.

"This would not be an unprecedented request and other EU countries have had the ban waived. If it is not the effects will be that farmers will loose much needed revenue and prices will inevitably rise due to shortages." CRÍOCH

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