The ROI Dexter Cattle Group are in the process of setting up our own Herd book. This is on account of Brexit and as the DAFM & EU will no longer be able to recognise the DCS UK as the registration society for our cattle because the UK will be regarded as a third country by EU. In order to be eligible for GLAS and grant schemes the ROI Group have had to set up a company “Irish Dexter Cattle Association Co Ltd”. We have had talks by zoom with ICBF and DAFM who are advising us on the steps to be taken in order to set up a Herd book.
We will need to set up a secretary to run the Herd book, possibly by joining in with another existing Cattle Society. It is recommended that we use geonomics to verify the pedigree of our animals. The back pedigree in a digital form will be required to be transferred from the DCS UK to the ICBF database. We will need to be set up for 2021 in order to register births. The system may change to initially all births will be notified and breeding heifers will be pedigree certified when they breed their first calf.
Membership fees will have to be paid to the new Identity including registration and transfer fee. A major concern for Dexter Breeders is the lack of a stable market for our finished steers. The current situation is very unsatisfactory with poor prices and an overhang of finished animals in the 2020 Autumn. While there are still new breeders coming into the market there are some breeders exiting due to uncertainty of an outlet for Dexter Beef.
At the 2020 AGM we set up a Dexter Beef Promotion Committee. Some Zoom meetings have taken place with a suggestion to develop a brand for Dexter Beef, but little progress has been made to date. Unless we step up and get going dexter breeders will flounder in a depressed market for our product.
I have been in touch with Bord Bia through Mr Mark Zieg who has promised to come back to me. I emphasised the need to develop a brand and to set up workshops for our members who are making an effort to process their animals with a view to selling direct to the consumer.
Going forward we will need to set up a fee structure which will be along the lines of the current DCS fees. We do intend carrying out a member’s survey before the end of 2020. We also intend holding the 2021 AGM where we will definitely elect a new committee — and about time.