Earlier this year it was confirmed that farmers would be able to opt out of paying Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) levies when completing cattle tag order forms.
Now, following a cattle tag tender by the Department of Agriculture, farmers can opt out of paying the levy when ordering tags from the two approved suppliers, Mullinahone Co-op and Cormac Tagging.
On a set of cattle tags the levy is 38c and in 2014, farmers paid €855,000 in levies to the ICBF when they ordered cattle tags.
The levy is a ‘voluntary’ contribution, but up until now, farmers have been unable to opt out of paying it when ordering cattle tags.
According to the ICBF, the levy on the cattle tags is used to fund Gene Ireland Breeding Programme Activities (both Dairy and Beef); Animal Events Data collection (e.g. Animal Events books, cost of keying data, etc.); and, Genetic Evaluations infrastructure (computers, geneticists).
When you are ordering cattle tags, will you be opting out of paying the ICBF levy?
A number of weeks ago, Cormac Tagging, a Galway-based company was approved by the Department of Agriculture to supply cattle tags to the state.
Before this approval, Tipperary-based Mullinahone Co-op was the only supplier of tags to provide Irish beef and dairy farmers with tags.
An application by a third supplier is being assessed by the Department’s Evaluation Committee, a Department spokesperson has told Agriland.
Earlier this year an Agriland poll found that 77% of farmers wanted more than one supplier of cattle tags to the state.
The decision to open up the supply of cattle tags to numerous suppliers was met with a mixed reaction from farming representative bodies.
ICSA President, Patrick Kent expressed the view that competition in the market was the best way of ensuring value for farmers when it comes to ordering cattle tags.
Meanwhile both IFA and ICMSA had expressed a preference for a single supplier of cattle tags.