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Minister Smith Reminds Farmers of their Weaning Obligations Under Suckler Welfare Scheme

Speaking today, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr Brendan Smith TD, pointed out that farmers who joined the Suckler Welfare Scheme are now coming to the weaning stage for calves born last Spring and there are a few things that they must do now in order to meet the requirements of the scheme.

"If you are in the Scheme, you must feed meal to your calves for 4 weeks before and two weeks after weaning. You must send back your pre-weaning form within 1 week of the date you started meal feeding" Minister Smith said. "Use the pre-paid envelope to return your forms. Alternatively, if you are sending in the information on-line, make sure you log on and enter your meal feeding date within a week of the start of meal feeding".

The Minister concluded by saying that the level of participation in the scheme is very encouraging with over 53,000 farmers signed up. These farmers have 85% of all the suckler cows in the country. "The scheme presents a great opportunity to improve the breeding quality of beef animals by using the huge amount of breeding information that is now being sent to the ICBF. At the same time, it will improve the standards of animal welfare on suckler farms and this is precisely what consumers are now looking for".

Date Released: 13 August 2008