“From what I can remember, Teagasc has been influenced completely by dairy promotion, dairy expansion and the dairy sector,” – those were the words of Ireland’s Future’s Gerry Loftus as he spoke from the floor at Teagasc’s National Beef Conference in the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co. Mayo on Tuesday, December 10th.
The Mayo native raised concerns in relation to a reduction in Ireland’s suckler herd and a proposal to plant 20,000-acres of forestry from 2020-2030.
“Our prime suckler beef has never been promoted. The suckler cow does three things – she produces milk, produces a calf and is a land management tool in many parts of this country.”
“The suckler situation as regards how we register a cow in this country is an absolute disgrace and it has never been corrected by you [Teagasc] or anyone else in favour of dairy promotion.” Loftus stressed.
“When you look at the card [passport] of a suckler cow, it will not tell you the breed of the dam.”
“Every single suckler cow in this country, with the exception of pedigrees, are marked with an ‘X’. Therefore, when we cross with the dairy herd, it immediately falsifies the breed of that animal.” he concluded.