Anomaly in Beef Welfare Scheme Must be Resolved Before Opening Date – IFA

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Following confirmation of the measures included in the Beef Welfare Scheme, IFA Livestock chair, Declan Hanrahan said that serious issues must be addressed before the scheme can open. Suckler farmers needed to know whether the scheme applied to calves born between July 2023 and June 2024 and the measures required. Autumn 2023 calves have already been sold and the opportunity to carry out actions has passed.  

Mr. Hanrahan has said that it is unacceptable that the measures required are only now being confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture. In his criticism of the scheme the Livestock chair said that the scheme must be revisited to provide clarification for farmers with Autumn born weanlings who were not given any guidance on measures required to qualify. 

“The Minister cannot stand over a situation where he provides details of a scheme requiring actions on farm when the animals are gone,” he said.  

Mr. Hanrahan also highlighted the inclusion of the maximum number of animals eligible for payment in the scheme being a serious problem for farmers. “While the vast majority of suckler farmers have fewer than 40 cows, those with more than 40 cows and who are heavily dependent on the income from their suckler herd cannot be penalised. All suckler cows should qualify for the measures carried out.” He also said the scheme will provide vital support for suckler farmers and that it is important that they are given the opportunity to participate and receive payment for all their animals. He finished by saying the Minister needs to address the issues outlined to him by the IFA as they undermine the credibility and value of the scheme for some suckler farmers.  


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