The announcement from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) that delays in the genotyping process will no longer affect the registration of calves is an important move, according to the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA).

The delays encountered by some farmers in having their calves registered through the new National Genotyping Programme were unacceptable, IFA animal health chair TJ Maher said.

“An efficient registration system for calves is crucial to ensure farmers can move their calves at the optimum time, maximising returns and aligning with established management practices on farms,” he said.

Teething problems

Maher said it is understandable there would be teething problems with any new system of this magnitude and common sense has prevailed in the amendments announced.

“Farmers were frustrated at the length of time it was taking to process some samples, which in turn was having a knock-on effect on calf registration,” Maher said.

Issuing animal passports pending any retests or where a sample spends 10 days in the lab will remove the registration delays encountered.

He also recognised the changes to the programme whereby animal passports are issued automatically prior to retesting any empty or unsuitable samples.

The changes announced should now ensure timely registration and orderly marketing of calves.

“The National Genotyping Programme is a positive initiative and will no doubt deliver significant benefits in the medium term.

"However, we also need to make sure those participating are not negatively impacted in their daily farm management practices,” he concluded.

Read more

ICBF to iron out calf passport issues