A meeting called by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) in a bid to iron out issues surrounding stock bull eligibility requirements has been postponed.

The meeting had been due to be held at 2pm Friday in Naas, but those due to attend were informed at 9pm on Thursday that the meeting would be put off until further notice.

“We have been made aware that some discussions are at a sensitive stage, and it has been requested to postpone tomorrow’s meeting. We have agreed to do this,” the notice to stakeholders said.

“We will be in contact again early next week.”

This message came just over 24 hours before the ICBF had told them that the meeting was to go ahead.

Stock bull issues

Some progress was made on concerns over how the weights of light cows are treated under the new beef indexes were made at last week’s meeting.

However, many stakeholders are looking for movement on the issue of stock bulls that were four or five stars before major shake-up of indexes, but have now dropped below four stars.

They argue that calves off these bulls should be deemed eligible for SCEP, as the bulls were bred and some bought before the index changes were announced.

Changing the terms and conditions of the SCEP lies with Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

Minister McConalogue loosened the scheme’s eligibility requirements for cows and heifers after backlash from farmers at the index changes.

This change will mean that heifers and cows in SCEP herds which do not meet the previously required star ratings remain eligible if, in September 2023’s evaluation, their dam was at least three stars and their sire at least four.

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