New pedigree lobby group in NI 10 May 2017 Free – Farmers Journal

The new group is made up of representatives from across the beef and dairy clubs, as well as their society representatives. The Trust was launched at a breakfast on the first day of the Balmoral Show.

“As pedigree breeders, we are dedicated to improving the quality, genetics and marketability of our animals,” Brian Walker said at the launch.

“Not only do we depend on them for our livelihood, but the standard of our local herds is also vital to the interests of the processors, retailers and ultimately the consumers.”

The Trust consists of representatives of all cattle breeds, both dairy and beef.

The next step for the trust is to elect a leadership team and council members to oversee the direction of the fledgling organisation, which could potentially represent up to 2,500 members.

Walker stated that the trust wishes to preserve, maintain and promote Northern Ireland cattle by highlighting the high genetic merit and health status of animals born here.

As part of this, Walker said there should be a NI brand to promote outside of the UK to distinguish ourselves from other cattle producing regions.

Walker added that they will work in partnership with DAERA and private vets to ensure that health schemes and eradication programmes are practical to implement on farms.

One area that the trust is lobbying government relates to permitting one metal identification tag for cattle in an effort to improve traceability and reduce the cost of replacing plastic tags currently in use.

Use of on-line technology for herd record keeping is high on their agenda, but Walker said the Trust would still fight to protect the network of local DAERA advisory offices and wider rural services.

On Brexit, he said that local politicians must engage fully with farmers to ensure that the agri sector is properly represented during the consultation process. He also called on politicians to implement policies without delay.

To contact the Pedigree Cattle Trust, email info@pedigreecattletrust.com

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