While the vast majority of steers and heifers slaughtered last year qualified for QPS bonuses, significant numbers did not meet the criteria.

Of 1.15m prime cattle killed in 2018, 21% were over 30 months old.

This is more often the case among steers (26%) than heifers (21%).

This means 241,000 cattle broke the age limit for bonuses.


Some 6% had moved more than four times in their lifetime and 8% had stayed less than 70 days on the last holding before slaughter.

This means that 70,000 to 90,000 cattle failed either residency requirement for a bonus.

Again, steers were more likely to be hit than heifers.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed released the ICBF figures in response to parliamentary questions from Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill.

The Minister said that bonuses under the QPS agreement were agreed between the factories and the IFA, and his Department does not record their payments.

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