The Department of Agriculture has announced over €14.2m in payments to 15,834 farmers under the National Beef Welfare Scheme on Friday 15 December.

The scheme comprised of two payments - a payment for meal feeding and a payment for herd IBR testing.

The first and larger payment comprised €35 per eligible calf (born from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023) up to a maximum of 40 calves (maximum payment of €1,400) in return for completing the meal feeding action.

The payment for IBR testing was based on the number of animals in the herd. Payments started at €120 where two to six animals are tested, €180 where seven to 10 animals are tested, €250 where 11 to 15 animals are tested and €300 where 16 to 20 animals are tested.

Completed measures

Where the IBR component of the measure was not completed, then a payment could still be achieved on the meal feeding component.

However, this meant foregoing the IBR payment plus a 10% penalty on the overall payment had the two measures been completed.

The payments are listed as two separate payments on and farmers can quickly see the level of payment for each measure.

The IBR payment was often contentious and there is no breakdown as yet as to the number of participants that completed this measure.

In announcing the payments, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said: “I am pleased to confirm that payments have now commenced under the National Beef Welfare Scheme, building on the range of support schemes available for beef farmers.

“The issuing of payment under the National Beef Welfare Scheme is another crucial support to the beef sector and builds on the issuing of €5m under the National Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme last week.”

Payments will be visible in farmers' bank accounts in the coming days.