Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (471, 472, 473, 474)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

471. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the total kill of steer and heifers for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21466/19]

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Jackie Cahill

Question:

472. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the total kill of steer and heifers under 30 months of age for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21467/19]

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Jackie Cahill

Question:

473. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of steer and heifers that failed to qualify for the inspect bonus on the basis of not having spent 70 days on the last farm; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21468/19]

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Jackie Cahill

Question:

474. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of steer and heifers that failed to qualify for the inspect bonus on the basis of having three movements and four residencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21469/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 471 to 474, inclusive, together.

In 2018, 666,068 steers and 487,062 heifers were slaughtered of which 173,177 steers and 68,188 heifers were over 30 months according to my Department's AIM system.

A Quality Payment System (QPS) related to the beef grid was agreed between Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in 2009. The payment is based on the classification of the carcass in which a price differential is set between certain classification grades.

My understanding is that any additional bonus payments and the conditions attached to qualification for such payments are determined by processors and their retail customers. There are a number of conditions which pertain to such payments, and these may include age limits and restrictions on the number of movements allowed, which are referred to as an additional "in spec" bonus.  These are commercial arrangements and my Department has no role in their establishment, nor in recording or analysis of the payments which are made.

However, as an output from the Beef Round table, I asked ICBF to provide an analysis of the proportion of the throughput which met such criteria.

This analysis found that, in 2018:

- 74% of steers and 86% of heifers were slaughtered under 30 months;

- 92% of steers and 93% of heifers spent at least 70 days on their last farm;

- 93% of steers and 95% of heifers had less than 4 movements before slaughter.