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Monaghan farmer says reducing slaughter age will be expensive

Aug 16, 2022 16:00 By News Northern Sound
Monaghan farmer says reducing slaughter age will be expensive
Edmund Graham, ICSA beef chairman
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'The dairy herd is very efficient at the minute for their milk traits'

A Monaghan farmer says reducing the slaughter age of cattle is not the answer to climate change.

Edmund Graham who is also the ICMSA national beef chairman says proposals to reduce the age to 24 months in an effort to reduce emissions won't work.

Speaking to Northern Sound today, Mr Graham pointed to how the national herd stands at in or around 7.4m which is similar to what it was in the 1970s.

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He says that if farmers are forced to finish cattle earlier, the animals will be lighter which means less money for the farmer.

He also pointed to how heavier feeding of the animal will be necessary and that would result in additional costs for the handler.

"One of the bigger issues too is that the dairy herd is very efficient at the minute for their milk traits," Mr Graham continued.

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"Farmers are calving their cows early Spring - the majority of calvings are in the Spring time.

"So it they are in the Spring time and we have to finish the animals at 24 months, they are all going to come of the same age at the same time.

"And, that just happens that they are coming out of the winter period when they are going to finish at 24 months.

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"They won't get a second year on grass where it would be cheaper to fatten those animals."

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