Funding crisis for ICBF as farmers opt out of tag levy
Published 22/11/2016 | 06:00
The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) is facing a funding crisis as farmers opt out of the tag levy in their droves.
Initial reports on tag orders over the last month show that nearly half of all farmers have opted not to pay the 38c/tag levy.
While ICBF could not confirm the exact number, chairman Michael Doran admitted that the development had the potential to trigger a funding crisis.
“We haven’t faced anything like this since the IBR outbreak in Tully,” he said. “We’ve no confirmation of the numbers involved yet, but any fall-off in funding is a big amount.”
The change came in the last month when the new tag tender approved multiple suppliers. At the same time, tag suppliers revamped their application forms to allow farmers to opt out of the ICBF levy for the first time.
The levy has generated €850,000 annually for the body responsible for rolling out national schemes such as the Beef Genomics Data Programme.
“I’m concerned about the implications for the key services that ICBF delivers for farmers,” said ICBF chirman Michael Doran.
The organisation, which employs 50 staff from its base in Bandon, Cork, is reponsible for progeny testing bulls at its Tully facility in Kildare, the G€n€ Ireland programme which ensures a constant stream of top Irish young bulls are tested in across dairy herds every year.