ICSA welcomes genotyping of calves

ICSA has welcomed moves by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to initiate a five-year programme for genotyping the national herd.

Following a stakeholder meeting in Dublin this week, ICSA Suckler Chair Jimmy Cosgrave said: “This is a hugely important step and one that should prove very beneficial for farmers in deciding which animals to buy for further feeding”.

It is understood that the Department of Agriculture will seek public funding to kickstart the programme, with the aim of having it up and running in 2024, and in place for a five-year period. After the first year, a cost sharing model is envisaged.

ICSA has proposed tagging calves at birth for genotyping rather than for BVD testing and stressed the need for an ambitious vision to marry all the benefits of this programme in the marketing of beef.

Mr Cosgrave concluded: “In particular we could very quickly use this in our suckler premium brand to deliver DNA verified suckler beef”.