Colm O’ Leary

Colm comes from a family dairy farm near Blarney in Co. Cork. He graduated from UCD Dairy Business in 2013 and as part of his degree Colm spent six months working on a 1200 cow dairy farm in New Zealand. He now farms in partnership with his parents Tim and Katherine. They are milking 150 crossbred cows. Colm is a member of Macra na Feirme’s Ag Affairs committee since 2016. For Colm’s study topic, he intends to explore the subject of animal welfare.

As a farmer, Colm cares deeply about the welfare of his animals. Improving animal welfare on farms can play a role in improving health and profitability. He is also concerned that animal welfare lobby groups pose a threat to animal based food production, and he hopes to identify specific areas where the industry can improve welfare standards. He wants to look at how other countries’ farm organisations deal with this issue and look for strategies that can be adopted by the whole agricultural community.Colm believes that farmers should be the most vocal proponents of improving animal welfare so as not to leave a vacuum that can be filled by more radical voices. Colm intends to visit the USA, Canada, Australia and several countries in Northern Europe.

Farmer led animal welfare - An opportunity for the Irish livestock industry