Having 1.5m dairy calves in Ireland in the spring is a challenge the sector needs to consider, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said.
Addressing farmers and members of the dairy industry at the NDC Kerrygold Milk Quality Awards Minister Creed said that 190,000 calves have been exported in Ireland this year to date and stated that it is a challenge for the industry to maintain every link in the supply chain to the highest standard, in particular when it comes to our growing calf numbers.
“We have about 1.5 million dairy cows in the country now and we have a very compact calving season and I’m going to ask all of you to consider in that context the fact that 1.5m calves will be born on Irish dairy farms primarily on the first of February and the middle of April - that’s a challenge for each and every one of us,” said Minister Creed.
“We need to make sure that in the context of that supply chain that every link in that chain is as strong as it possibly can be and that we operate to the highest standard to make sure that live export trade continues.”
He urged farmers and members of the dairy sector to make sure that we are doing everything to the highest possible standards to make sure live exports continue and also that welfare of animals that are not able to be exported is also maintained to the highest quality
“In the context of animal husbandry in terms of calf welfare on individual farms before calves are sold to pall is to the highest standard and we look at leakages that might help those calves who are not exported that we make sure that they are assimilated in the broader livestock sector in the most efficient welfare friendly way as possible.”