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End of printed calf certs will delay sales warn ICMSA


A view of the after sales area in New Ross calf sales. Roger Jones

A view of the after sales area in New Ross calf sales. Roger Jones

A view of the after sales area in New Ross calf sales. Roger Jones

The ICMSA has called on the Department of Agriculture to reverse a decision that has seen pre-printed movement certs no longer being sent out with the 'Bluecard' when a calf is registered by post.

The association's livestock chairman, Michael Guinan, said the decision to stop the service would delay farmers seeking to sell calves soon after birth.

Mr Guinan accepted that the facility is available online, but he pointed out that many farmers in rural areas had poor to non-existent broadband facilities that necessitated the continued use of postal calf registration.

He said the Department's decision to stop sending out printed movement certs would lead to further paperwork for the farmer and delays in selling calves.

"Under the old tag number formatting, each sheet gave an option to tick a box and a movement cert would be automatically issued with the calf's 'Bluecard'," Mr Guinan explained.

"This allowed each farmer to sell their calves immediately as the movement cert was always to hand once the calf was registered and we always thought the system worked well," he added.

Farmers who now register calves by post, and cannot apply online, will have to apply to have movement certs posted out separately to the Bluecard.

"There's no logical reason for the change and ICMSA is calling on the Department to reverse its decision and put back in place arrangements to allow the movement certs to be issued with the 'Bluecard' where requested by the farmer," said Mr Guinan.

Meanwhile, it is understood that the age limit by which bull calves can be castrated without an anaesthetic is going to be cut from six months to two months.

The reduction in age limits is believed to have been introduced on animal welfare grounds.

National Reserve set to open this week

The Department of Agriculture will announce the opening of the 2017 National Reserve this week.

Last month, Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, revealed that the new, highly anticipated, scheme had a funding pot of €5m.

The amount is equivalent to unspent funds under the Young Farmers Scheme in 2015 which was added to the Basic Payment Scheme financial ceiling.

EU regulations underpinning the National Reserve provide for mandatory priority access to 'young farmer' and 'new entrant to farming'.

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