The results of individual herd IBR testing, undertaken as part of the National Beef Welfare Scheme, will not be shared with ICBF or be published on any platform, such as mart boards. Many farmers have raised such concerns and reports indicate that some farmers were holding off from applying to the scheme until there was further clarity on the topic.

The topic was discussed between Jack Kennedy, editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, and Margaret Brennan, assistant principal officer of beef schemes with the Department of Agriculture, on last week’s special NBWS webinar hosted by the Irish Farmers Journal.

Brennan stated that the results of IBR testing will not be shared with ICBF and that individual herd information would only be shared with the herd’s vet and, in turn, the herd owner.

“The prevalence of IBR in any herd will only be reported back from the laboratory to the vet, to the herd owner, so it’s a matter for them (farmer and vet) to discuss what action they will take. The only information that will be provided to us (Department of Agriculture) is in respect of the number of animals that were actually submitted for testing.”

This statement should allay the concerns of farmers and allow them now to benefit from getting a snapshot of the health status of their herd for IBR.

Extended deadline

The deadline for submitting applications has been extended from 12 September to 11.59pm on Tuesday, 26 September. This has provided extra time for interested parties to inform themselves on any aspect of the scheme and should, hopefully, see scheme participation targets being achieved.

The scheme provides payment of €35/eligible calf (born from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023) up to a maximum of 40 calves (maximum payment of €1,400) and payment of €120 to €300/herd, depending on the number of animals tested.

The payment is €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. Where there are fewer than 20 animals in the herd on the date of testing then all animals need to be tested. Where there are more than 20 animals in the herd, then your vet will identify 20 animals that will deliver the maximum benefit from testing.

Last week’s webinar can be viewed online at The terms and condition and further information, including frequently asked questions on IBR, can be found at