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Suckler Welfare Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, confirmed that the Suckler Welfare Scheme will continue in 2010 at the rate of €40 per animal and that payment will issue early in the New Year in respect of the 2009 Scheme year.  He reminded all farmers in the Scheme of the need to continue to use the Animal Events System to register calf births from 1 January onwards and to meet the various requirements under the scheme in order to ensure that they will qualify for payment in due course.

"This scheme has been very successful in its first two years. The high standard of animal husbandry on participating farms is showing through when weanlings are being sold," said Minister Smith.  He went on to say that the quantity of breeding information (a combination of ancestry, bulls used, performance data and weanling quality) now being collected on farms around the country and submitted to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation is already making a huge contribution to improvement in the genetic quality of the suckler herd. "The real payoff will be in the long term and it is vitally important that we keep up the flow of data to the ICBF and at the same time maintain the high standard of animal welfare for 2010".

The Minister also urged farmers to take the opportunity of using better genetics in their herd by making use of ICBF services, for example the bull search facility on the ICBF website www.icbf.com, which he said is very easy to access and use.

Date Released: 11 December 2009