Cattle slaughter age could be reduced to help carbon emissions

Cattle slaughter age could be reduced to help carbon emissions

Irish prime beef cattle could be slaughtered earlier as part of plans to reduce methane and help carbon emissions. 

Beef farmers could be finishing cattle within 24-months rather than the current 30-month rule. 

Bord Bia’s beef sector manager, Mark Zieg believes the move will have the support of Irish beef customers, who will “want to get to net carbon zero on beef by 2030 or whenever it will be.”

“I think the younger ages might be something that comes back in favour of young bulls.”

However, he conceded that factories could press farmers into finished cattle earlier with an in-spec bonus. 

Currently, heifers and steers have to meet a set criteria to be entitled to a 20c/kg in-spec bonus when presented for slaughter at a factory. These include: being less than 30-months old; from an approved Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS); and have a maximum of four-farm residencies. 

Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Minister Charlie McConalogue, has repeatedly said the national herd does not to be cut as Ireland can reach its targets for agricultural methane reduction. 

Minister McConalogue previously commented that a reduction in the average age of slaughter from 27 months to 24 months would result in a 12.5 per cent less biogenic methane emissions. 

LSL News.

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