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Minister Coveney Announces Commencement of Payments for 2011 Born Calves Under the Suckler Welfare Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced his intention to shortly commence payments in respect of 2011 born calves under the Suckler Welfare Scheme. "In that regard, I would urge participants in the Scheme to complete the registration of the Scheme measures for all of their weaned calves with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) immediately" the Minister said. "I am also particularly anxious that all outstanding issues, which are preventing the issuing of payment for calves born in earlier years, be resolved without further delay and I am asking farmers to submit any outstanding data to the ICBF and to respond to any queries that may have issued from my Department"  he added.

The Minister reminded farmers of the changes he had introduced with effect from 1 September  2011 whereby all information required under the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme must be submitted to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) within one year of the date of birth of each calf participating in the Scheme. "The sooner farmers complete these important returns the sooner they can receive payment" the Minister said.

Minister Coveney said that the quantity of breeding information (a combination of ancestry, bulls used, performance data and weanling quality) now being collected from participating farmers and submitted to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation is starting to make a significant contribution to improvement in the genetic quality of the suckler herd. "The real benefits in beef breeding terms will, however, be in the longer term and it is vitally important that farmers keep up the flow of data to the ICBF and also at the same time maintain the high standard of animal welfare" the Minister said.

Date Released: 16 November 2011