Elon Musk, tech titan and outspoken influencer, intervened in the heated discussion surrounding Ireland's prospective plan to eliminate approximately 200,000 cows to align with the European Union's climate change goals.
Over the weekend, Musk opined on Twitter, "This really needs to stop. Killing some cows doesn’t matter for climate change."
Musk's comments were in response to a tweet by influencer Ashley St. Clair, sharing an editorial from Cowboy State Daily on Ireland's controversial climate action, titled, "Ireland Looking To Kill 200,000 Cows To Fight Climate Change; Are US Herds Next?"
The Telegraph recently reported on this contentious proposal by the Irish government, pressured by Brussels, to diminish emissions from farming by a quarter by 2030. One plausible approach might involve an annual culling of 65,000 cows over three years, reducing the national dairy herd by 10%.
Reportedly, this proposal would be presented as an optional "retirement exit scheme" for older farmers.
Although the Irish Department of Agriculture clarified that the reports reference a "modeling document" in a "deliberative process," with no concrete plans settled, the farming community remains on edge.
Tim Cullinan, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association, criticized the notion, warning of potential relocation of beef production if enforced. Pat McCormack, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, also joined the debate, highlighting the lack of growth in the size of their herd over the past few decades.
The Irish Independent shed light on a possible compensation scheme for the proposed cull, suggesting €5,000 per cow. Echoing concerns, Peadar Tóibín, the Aontú party leader, addressed the Irish Parliament about the severe threat to the farming sector and the dubious environmental logic of substituting culled Irish beef with imports from deforestation-driven Brazilian production.
The cull would essentially mean that the Irish government is funding the deforestation of Brazil.