FIE has escalated its campaign to prevent the doubling of stocking rates on Ireland's Disadvantaged Areas, much of which are the sensitive mountains and blanket bogs of rural Ireland.

We have appealed to the EU Agricultural Commissioner Dacian Ciolos to refuse Ireland's request to increase the rate on the grounds that the proposal undermines the Minister for Agriculture's assurance that the intensification of agricultural to meet ambitious 2020 production targets can be done sustainably.

Basing payments on stocking rates rather than areas farmed is biased against the smaller less intensive farmer who protect the environment and is against the proposal to reform CAP payments post 2013.

High stocking rates have led in the past to a host of environmental problems, including erosion, eutrophication, soil degradation, and increased carbon emissions. This damage was confirmed by the European Court of Justice in 2002 in a judgement against Ireland.

See the letter to the CommissionerRead the Press Release

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