In brief: Scheme adds 1,200 animals
Around 1,200 extra animals will be added to the national kill as a result of the once-bred heifer scheme.
Around 300 farmers expressed interest in signing up for the Dawn Meats scheme, which allows a Continental heifer to produce one calf before slaughter.
Following on-farm inspections, approximately two-thirds of the interested farmers have been approved for entry into the scheme.
Under the terms of the scheme, heifers produced to the required specification will be paid the same as the QPS base price for steers.
Concerns over audit standards
Debudding and castration of calves over the age limits without veterinary supervision, as required by the Beef Quality Assurance Scheme, has emerged as one of the key areas where farmers are failing to meet audit standards.
Other issues include poor animal records, inadequate records of purchased feeds and adding minerals to home-mixed diets without the correct licence.
Auditors have also highlighted that some farms do not have a sketch of vermin bait points or a farm safety statement in place.