IFA National Livestock Committee Chairperson, Henry Burns, said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must deliver a fully funded Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme of €40 per cow in this week’s Budget to keep his commitment to the beef and livestock sector and maintain suckler cow numbers.
Mr Burns said the Suckler Cow Welfare scheme is the only real link with production in the beef sector and it is critical to maintaining beef cow numbers going forward. He said maintaining a full Suckler Cow Welfare scheme is vital, at least until the CAP 2013 negotiations are concluded and Ireland can then consider the options on a coupled suckler cow payment.
“Minister Coveney knows any watered down version of the Suckler Cow Welfare scheme will not work in practice. IFA has conducted an intensive lobby of Government TDs who are all very strong in maintaining the scheme at €40 per cow,” he added.
The IFA livestock leader encouraged suckler farmers to immediately get their weaning data back in on the 2012 scheme in order to guarantee payment before Christmas.