Next government to look into ‘dual-purpose’ cattle breeds

The next government will conduct research into the potential of ‘dual-purpose’ cattle breeds, according to the Programme for Government.

As well as that, the programme states that the future government will look into the viability of ‘calf-at-foot’ models on dairy farms.

These measures are discussed under the animal welfare section of the Programme for Government. The document says that the three parties involved – Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party – are “committed to working consistently to improve animal welfare standards”.

Among the other suggestions included in the programme for animal welfare is supporting the development of a “high-welfare, outdoor-reared pig and poultry sector”, in addition to existing production systems.

The next government will also look to double funding for animal welfare organisations within two years.

The badger vaccination programme is set to be extended nationwide under the next government, while badger culling will be ended “as soon as possible, consistent with the best scientific and veterinary advice”.

Live exports

The animal welfare section also references live trade – but not to ban or reduce it, as had been feared by some.

Farmers will be relieved that these concerns were not realised in the Programme for Government when it was released earlier this week. Not only does the document not mention any curtailment of live exports, but in fact highlights the importance of the trade to the agriculture sector.

“We acknowledge the income pressure that beef farmers are under and the role live exports play in this price competition,” the document says.