Thursday, 28 March, 2013

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has praised the community spirit, resilience and generosity which has characterised the response to the snow crisis faced by farmers in County Antrim and County Down. 

UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “The farming families directly affected by this crisis are working together to overcome the enormous problems created by the drifting snow.  Their resilience is being tested to the limit and with no thaw in sight, the hardship they are facing is set to continue into next week.  I have witnessed first hand the efforts they are making to rescue, feed and care for their animals, setting aside their own wellbeing to bring food and shelter to their livestock where possible”.

“We are also extremely grateful to the personnel involved in the relief effort.  They are working long hours in atrocious conditions to bring assistance to our members.  We have also been inundated with kind efforts of assistance from individuals and organisations.  These are being put to good use wherever possible and are being co-ordinated via the DARD Emergency Helpline.  It is a comfort to know that so many people across Northern Ireland and beyond have recognised the plight facing our farms and have been willing to come forward with offers of assistance”.

Harry Sinclair added; “When we do get beyond this crisis and the snow has gone, the emotional and financial impact of what is happening will hit home for those affected.  We must ensure that their livelihoods are secured and to that end we very much welcome the NI Executive’s decision to cover the costs of fallen animal disposal and the creation of a hardship fund.  We must now ensure that the fund is put to the most effective use”.