Duleek farm benefits from premium Belted Galloways

A pen of 22 store lambs (left) weighing in at 38 kg made €84/hd, while (right) 20 clean lambs weighing in at 47.5 kg made €105/hd in last week's sale at the Ballinasloe Sheep Mart. Photo: Brian Farrell

Martin Ryan

A Meath farm is due to benefit with a bonus of up to 20c/kg being paid on beef from their rare breed of cattle. The farm is aiming to supply the niche market with up to five animals per week initially.

Euro Farm Foods at Duleek, Co Meath has responded to the request from the Belted Galloway Cattle Society to slaughter and bone out the beef with the expectation that demand will increase if sufficient supplies are sourced.

Michael Fox of Euro Farm Foods said that the demand has come from a couple of specialist restaurants in Dublin as well as an outlet based in Kilkenny.

"We were approached by Ronan Delany of the Belted Galloway Cattle Society to supply the market and we are hoping to process up to 10 animals every two weeks initially," he said.

In addition to the QA payment of 12c/kg for qualifying animals, a bonus of 20c/kg will be paid for animals under 30 months, while those between 30 and 36 months can qualify for a bonus of 10c/kg.

The total size of the breed in Ireland is understood to be around 1,400 head having increased considerably over the past three years.

The breed is mainly to be found in Scotland, England and Wales where there are more than 10,000 cows.The cattle must have strong Belted Galloway breeding in them with at least three-quarter-bred cattle preferred.

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