The suckler herd is being culled automatically as you see a 58,000 drop in the suckler herd in the last year.
If this amount of sucklers drop yearly for the coming years, there will be more destruction done to the west of Ireland than with climate change, as marts will close and spin-off jobs will be lost in co-ops and local shops.
If you just look at the fallout from one year’s loss from the 58,000 cows, just take their weanlings – valued at an average of €800 each – coming to almost €46m now out of circulation in rural Ireland.
The genes of those cows, which were the most carbon efficient, easy-fleshing and self-sufficient by keeping the grass eaten, will be lost forever. That will be left there now to rot.
Then we see where ICBF and Teagasc favour dairy beef production with a breed that cannot be fleshed owing to its dairy breeding, with a high carbon footprint for a small kill-out weight and low profit margins.
Mind and hold on to what is left of our suckler herd - when it goes, it is gone forever.