9th February, 2016
ICSA TB committee chairman John Barron has welcomed news that the maximum valuation for a pedigree bull under the TB market valuation scheme has been increased from €3,500 to €5,000 following ICSA lobbying on the issue.
“ICSA argued that the previous maximum of €3,500 did not reflect the reality in the marketplace for suckler farmers in particular who wish to run the best possible bull with the most desirable genetics with their herd. It is commonplace, albeit still a minority, for suckler farmers to pay €4-5,000 for a high calibre bull. This is particularly important in the suckler sector where AI use is limited by a variety of factors, such as difficulties with heat detection, herds grazing away from the farmyard on different parcels and also the prevalence of part-time farming due to income issues.”
“This change will have a minimal impact on the Department’s TB budget because the incidence of TB among pedigree bulls is tiny but, for the unfortunate individual farmer who has a reactor pedigree bull, it will make a significant difference. It will give a boost to the pedigree sector as well as it provides a measure of confidence and security around higher value bulls. Given the increased focus on star ratings under the BDGP, we have to be seen to have valuations which reflect the reality in the marketplace.”
The issues around farmers not being permitted to buy in livestock where there is a TB outbreak continues to be a sore point. There is some flexibility around feedlot status where a farmer can, where facilities are appropriate, seek a second herd number but the terms and conditions around this are not straightforward. “For some farmers, the prohibition on buying in stock until one clear test is achieved is potentially devastating to their farming model. We will continue to negotiate with the Department for workable solutions on this contentious issue.”