There will be an increase in the number of cows and heavy beef heifers coming into marts in the next couple of weeks according to the country’s mart managers.

This comes following last week’s announcement by the Minister of Agriculture, Simon Coveney at the Ploughing that pre-movement Brucellosis testing of all cattle will cease today (September 28).

According to mart managers, the need for pre-movement Brucellosis testing had previously limited the number of heavy heifers coming forward as the majority of these animals needed testing.

The lifting of the pre-movement Brucellosis testing has been welcomed by many managers at marts as it will give their customers the opportunity to market animals in an alternative venue.

According to Martin McNamara, the Mart Manager of Ennis Mart, this policy change will have a positive impact on the smaller farmer, as they now have the freedom to sell 2-3 cows at a time.

We would be expecting more cows but a lot more cows in the coming weeks. It will have a positive impact on the small farmer who sells 2-3 cows at a time.

According to the Mart Manager of Tullow Mart, Eric Driver, the policy change will see an increase in the number of cows coming forward for sale at marts as it gives the farmer more of an option.

“If farmers are unhappy with the price of an animal on the day of sale they can always bring them home, this is not the case for the factory.

“A lot of stock will hit the two-year-old mark before they reach slaughter age and this reduces the number of heavy heifers coming into the ring.

“Lifting this ban will be helpful to increase the numbers of these types of animals coming forward,” said Driver.

According to Tim McSweeney of Macroom Mart, the Cork venue is expecting an increase in the number of feeder type cows coming forward.

“Down this way we are expecting farmers to milk cows on for a while and sell them straight out of the parlour or when the grass gets scarce,” said McSweeney.

Pre-movement Brucellosis testing to end on September 28

Pre-movement Brucellosis testing on both sides of the Border will come to an end on September 28 following a joint announcement by Minister Simon Coveney and Minister Michelle O’Neill at the Ploughing Championships.

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships, Coveney said that following the effective eradication of Brucellosis on the island, both departments had decided to remove the legislative requirement for pre-movement testing.

“The cessation of compulsory pre-movement testing means that routine on-farm brucellosis testing will no longer be required in the State,” said Coveney.

This, he said, is a major landmark in the history of disease eradication in Ireland and will result in significant savings for livestock farmers in testing costs, estimated to be €6m per year.

“I warmly welcome the fact that we can now bring to an end the legislative requirement for routine on-farm testing for Brucellosis.

“This is a major boost for Irish farmers and is the product of efforts put in jointly by my Department, the veterinary profession and by the farming community over many years in addressing this highly contagious and costly disease,” said Coveney.