Cattle farmers face surcharge to fund disease prevention and monitoring

Calfs are a 'bi-product' of dairy farms. Photo:
Are these cows organic? Photo:

Beef and dairy cattle farmers face a surcharge of a few euros on every animal which is either exported or send for slaughter to raise money for a special fund for animal health issues.

The farm ministry says the fund is needed to pay for prevention and monitoring diseases, which can cost the industry millions of euros.

Sheep, goat and pig farmers already contribute to the fund, but the cattle industry contribution has, until now, been paid out of reserves set aside by the defunkt product boards.

The surcharge of up to €2.44 per mature animal comes at a time when farmers are protesting about being hit unfairly hard by measures to combat nitrogen-based pollution.

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