The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has said that good weaning standards adopted under the now-defunct Suckler Welfare Scheme must not be allowed to slide, despite the abolition of financial supports.
ICSA suckler committee chair Dermot Kelleher said: “It seems that a certain amount of farmers are abandoning the principles of good weaning practice recently. I have seen evidence of it at marts with calves making a lot of noise because they haven’t been properly weaned. Furthermore, I reckon those calves that could be guaranteed to be weaned and on meal were worth an additional €100 to €150 in the sales ring.”
Mr Kelleher said farmers must recognise that proper weaning practice was beneficial for the calf, for themselves and everyone in the supply chain, including live exporters, who report far fewer instances of illnesses in calves that had been correctly weaned.