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Minister Announces Funding of Over €1M for ICBF/Sheep Ireland for Cattle & Sheep Breeding

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced support of €880,000 to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) for beef and dairy cattle breeding.  He also announced funding of €200,000, for sheep breeding, to Sheep Ireland, a newly established entity associated with ICBF.

This funding is additional to the €1.8 million already committed to ICBF and Sheep Ireland in April 2009 for beef, dairy and sheep breed improvement projects and represents significant State investment in the livestock sector.

The Minister said that he was delighted to be in a position to provide this level of funding towards measures aimed at improving cattle and sheep breeding in Ireland, two sectors that are important to the Irish economy. 

Funding is being provided for a number of work areas, all of which have a clear focus on profit and are designed to identify animals that have the genetic capability to produce the greatest profits from Irish beef, dairy and sheep farms.  

The Minister added: "ICBF have already shown the capacity to deliver more profit to farmers through better breeding, which is a key part of helping to increase quality of production and farm profitability in our main agriculture sectors, especially in the dairy industry. This investment also goes towards  improving the competitiveness of the Irish livestock industry".

The Minister said that he was very encouraged by the progress by ICBF in relation to cattle breeding, in co-operation with the various stakeholders involved in the industry.  He concluded by encouraging all sheep breeding stakeholders to support Sheep Ireland in their endeavours aimed at achieving cumulative and permanent gains in on-farm profitability for sheep farmers.

Note to editors:

For further information on ICBF: www.icbf.com

For further information on Sheep Ireland: www.sheep.ie

Sheep Ireland will be responsible for the establishment, maintenance and upkeep of the sheep breeding central database, the new enhanced sheep breeding program, sheep genetic evaluations and for providing data for use in research.

Date Released: 26 June 2009