Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (1012)

Holly Cairns

Question:

1012. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the financial support and incentives there will be to encourage farmers to pilot calf-at-foot strategies; the agency which will be responsible for implementing and monitoring this measure; when the trials will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6886/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In line with the initiatives identified in Ireland's new Animal Welfare Strategy, emphasis is being placed on evaluating the potential for alternative husbandry practices, including dairy calf-at-foot rearing. Teagasc has begun a study in comparing leaving the calf with its mother for the first eight-weeks versus separating the calf from its mother at birth, to assess the effects on behaviours relevant to welfare in the longer term and calf growth.

My Department will assess the potential for any related scheme taking account of Teagasc advice and other relevant research.