According to the Irish Mirror, the reduction would cost taxpayers €600,000 over three years to pay for. The Department of Agriculture responded to the reports stating that the plan is not yet final policy, but a "modeling document" and various options are being considered.
"The Paper referred to was part of a deliberative process – it is one of a number of modeling documents considered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and is not a final policy decision," a spokesperson said. "As part of the normal work of Government Departments, various options for policy implementation are regularly considered.”
Last year, Ireland Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue introduced a proposal to begin a voluntary dairy reduction scheme next year as the country tries to reduce its emissions by 25% before 2030.
According to reports from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Ireland has around 2.5 million beef and dairy cows, which account for two-thirds of the agricultural products.
An Environmental Protection Agency report from 2021 found that the entire agriculture sector accounts for 38% of the country's Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emissions.
A report by The Telegraph, notes that these revelations in Ireland come just after Dutch farmers were threatened with compulsory purchase for the same reason. The government would offer a financial incentive for the farmers to give up their cows.
The EU has set a target to become the first continent to achieve net-zero greenhouse gases with 2050 as the legally binding target date, according to Eco-Logic. It has set a target of a 55% emissions reduction by 2030, as compared to levels seen in 1990.
The European Climate Law was officially adopted on July 29, 2021.