A number of new overseas markets have been secured for up to 10,000 Aberdeen Angus-cross calves and stronger-type Angus runner calves.

The new markets will see will see both bull and heifer calves raised to beef with the bull calves being finished as bull beef.

The calves suitable for the jobs should be mid- to better-quality Angus-cross calves, while plainer-type Angus calves are unsuitable.

The contracts have been secured by brothers James and David Scallan of Wicklow Calf Company.

The Scallans, who are well known to dairy farmers the length and breadth of the country, have also outlined they are “very confident” of further consignments like this in the future, in particular, “for good Angus calves”.

Speaking to Agriland, James Scallan said: “What we are suggesting to dairy farmers who want to have good salable calves next year is to use a better-type Angus bull or a good Angus AI [artificial insemination] bull on their cows this year as we believe this is what is required for both the home market and markets overseas into the future”.

He said that while the company is confident of further consignments like this into the future, “the government must act now on implementing a national IBR control programme and invest in a lairage near Rosslare to further streamline the export process”.

“If these things happen, the business is secure in this country because Ireland must remain world leaders in all aspects of animal health and welfare,” he concluded.

Calf exports

The news comes as calf exports in the first 12 weeks of this year are running over 11,000 calves ahead of last year.

While the recent setback to the Rosslare-Cherbourg sailing route until Tuesday, April 19, at the earliest, will result in reduced exports for this duration, it is hoped numbers can bounce back again when the Stena Horizon resumes sailing after its time spent in dry dock.