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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Deadline extension for National Beef Welfare Scheme

The DAFM has extended the deadline for applications for the National Beef Welfare Scheme (NBWS) until midnight on September 26th, 2023, which replaces the initial September 12th, 2023 date.

This, is to “allow as many farmers as possible to apply for the scheme,” according to a statement from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, released on Friday, September 8th, 2023.

The scheme will support farmers in meal-feeding suckler calves in advance of and after weaning, and in testing for the presence of Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) in their herds.

NBWS measures

Both actions are mandatory for farmers who wish to participate in the scheme.

That’s Farming, has in recent weeks, published separate articles on the measures, which you can find across our site,

The IBR element of the scheme must be completed and the blood samples with the laboratory by 5.30 pm on November 1st, 2023, at the very latest.

Participants must get their herd tested for IBR by engaging a veterinarian to select, blood sample and test up to twenty animals for IBR antibodies.

Where a herd has twenty or more bovines, twenty must be tested. If a herd has less than twenty bovines, then all must be tested.

Farmers will be paid up to €300 per herd depending on the number of animals tested for IBR.

Participants are also reminded that they must introduce meal feeding for a period of four weeks pre-weaning and two weeks post-weaning to reduce calf stress at weaning time.

Farmers will be paid €35 per eligible calf up to a maximum of 40 calves.

There is no facility for late applications after the new extension closing date of September 26th, 2023.

The DAFM expects to commence payments to cleared cases in early December 2023.

The NBWS is funded from a once-off 2023 allocation to the DAFM from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) provided to offset some of the negative impacts of Brexit on the beef sector.

Suckler farmers can participate in this new scheme and the five-year Suckler Carbon Efficiency scheme (SCEP) at the same time.

Farmers who take part in the NBWS as well as the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), can earn €200/cow calf pair up to a maximum number of animals.

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