SCEP is an agricultural scheme which aims to provide support to beef farmers to improve the environmental sustainability of the national beef herd. The programme aims to build on the gains delivered in recent years through the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP) by improving the genetic merit of the Irish suckler herd.
- Action 1 – Eligible Bull/Eligible AI
- Action 2 – Female Replacement Strategy
- Action 3 – Genotyping
- Action 4 – Weighing and Submission of Weights to ICBF
- Action 5 – Calving Details and Surveys
- (A) Calving Details
- (B) Surveys
Action 1 – Eligible Bull/Eligible AI
Applicants will be required to maintain a proportion of high genetic merit animals on their holding as detailed below:
• In each scheme year, applicants must calve at least 50% beef breed animals of the yearly reference number. In scheme year 1 and 2, 80% of these calves must have been sired from a 4 or 5 star source, i.e., a genotyped 4 or 5 star bull on either the Terminal or Replacement index (on a within or across breed basis) at time of service and/or if using AI, the AI straw used on participating holdings must be from a 4 or 5 star eligible bull on either the Terminal or Replacement index (on a within or across breed basis). In the event that an applicant calves more than the 50% requirement, these animals must also be sired from a 4/5* source to a minimum of at least 80% of their yearly reference number. Please see example below for Scheme year 2.
- This increases to 85% in scheme years 3 & 4.
- This increases to 90% in scheme year 5.
- The calves born can be sired from 4 or 5 star bulls, 4 or 5 star AI straws or a mixture of both.
- Any movements must be recorded correctly on the Department’s Animal Identification
and Movement system (AIM).
- Sire discrepancies identified as a result of any genotyping performed during the programme will be resolved and where commitment are subsequently deemed to have not been achieved, the corresponding penalties will be applied.
- For those participants using Rare Breed sires a derogation from the annual targets under this action may be granted in certain circumstances. Such requests should be made to Beef Schemes before the 30th June each year of the programme and will be considered on a case–by–case basis.
Action 2 – Female Replacement Strategy
- Applicants are required to ensure that by the 31st October 2023 at least 50% of their yearly reference number are eligible females that are genotyped 4 or 5 stars on the replacement index (on a within breed or across breed basis) at the time of purchase (for replacements brought into the herd) or at the time of genotyping (for those replacements bred within the herd).
- Applicants are required to ensure that by the 31st October 2025 at least 65% of their yearly reference number are eligible females that are genotyped 4 or 5 stars on the replacement index (on a within or across breed basis) at the time of purchase (for replacements brought into the herd) or at the time of genotyping (for those replacements bred within the herd).
- Applicants are required to ensure that by the 31st October 2027 at least 75% of their yearly reference number are eligible females that are genotyped 4 or 5 stars on the replacement index (on a within or across breed basis) at the time of purchase (for replacements brought into the herd) or at the time of genotyping (for those replacements bred within the herd).
- Females must be at least 16 months old.
Action 3 -Genotyping
- Applicants will be required to take a tissue tag sample from animals selected for genotyping
- Initially ICBF will select animals to be genotyped in each herd and will notify herd owners of the animals selected.
- It may be possible for the herdowner to nominate animals for genotyping other than those selected by ICBF.
- The number of animals to be genotyped each year will be at least equivalent to 70% of the beneficiary’s “yearly reference number” (rounded down to the nearest animal). For example, an applicant with a yearly reference of 10 must have sufficient animals to genotype 7 females, calves or eligible bulls, without repetition of animals genotyped under the Programme to date.
- If a selected animal has died or is sold before the sample tags are received, the applicant must without delay contact ICBF to request a test kit for a substitute animal.
- Genotype tissue samples must be taken from animals by use of the Genotype kit provided.
- Each Genotype tissue tag is numbered to correspond with the animal’s National ID tag number.
- The samples must be returned in the kits provided in the pre-addressed envelopes.
- Each applicant is liable for the cost of genotyping in respect of his/her application. If an applicant returns more genomic samples than his/her required number, he/she will be liable for the extra cost. The cost will be recovered as a deduction from the SCEP payment.
- In the event of an unsuccessful or withdrawn claim, the costs must be paid by the applicant to the Department.
- If an applicant has an existing tagging supplier in place, this will be the default tagging supplier. If an applicant wishes to change his/her supplier, he/she may do so on the ICBF website. In the event of an applicant not having an existing supplier, he/she must select a supplier on the ICBF website.
- Genomic samples will not be accepted after the 30th of November of each year. Please see example below for scheme year 1:
Action 4 – Weighing and Submission of Weights to ICBF
- Participants must weigh at least 80% of eligible animals born on the holding of the yearly reference number in each scheme year and their dams and submit weights to ICBF. Please see example below for Scheme year 1.
Each live calf must be unweaned and weighed with its dam on the applicants holding on the same day. Where a calf dies before 5 months of age or it’s dam, this must be recorded on AIM and the 80% does not include such pairs.
- All calves being submitted for weighing must have been born in the herd within each scheme year.
- All calves being submitted for weighing must be eligible calves as per section 4.
- All calves being submitted for weighing must be in the ownership and possession of the applicant since birth and maintained on the holding. It must be alive at the time of weighing.
- The calf must be aminimum of 50 days old before it is eligible to be weighed.
- Weights should be submitted within 7 days of weighing and no later than 01 November
annually. Please see example below for Scheme year 1:
- Only scales registered and used in accordance with the requirements of Annex 1 may be employed for the purposes of this Programme.
- If you are recording weights online/electronically the weights must be recorded in the ICBF database by 5:30pm on 01 November annually. Electronic submission includes the ICBF website, ICBF weight recording app, farm software and any third–party applications that link to the ICBF database.
- If you are submitting weights by post, the forms must be received by ICBF by 5:30pm on
01 November annually.
Action 5 Calving Details and Surveys
(A) Calving Details
In addition to meeting the statutory requirements for tagging and registration, Programme applicants must complete the Calving Ease Survey for each calf.
Under current requirements, all farmers are required to tag and register all calves with the Department’s Registration Agency, Clonakility, Co. Cork within 27 days of birth, in accordance with EU Regulation 1760/2000. The tag number or the AI code of the sire must be provided for each calf.
Calves must be registered using any one of the following methods:
• Department approved farm software providers
• The ICBF Animal Events System – animal events book as provided by the ICBF.
Each year, applicants will be required to complete survey forms supplied by the ICBF in respect of all eligible cows, calves and bulls on his/her holding and return these to the ICBF.
Applicants will be provided with notebooks for daily field recording (e.g. details of calf size and vigour) and the recorded data should then be used to complete the appropriate survey forms supplied by the ICBF on an annual basis. Furthermore, in order to ensure the validity of all of the data recorded, all calves born in the herd must be maintained on the holding for at least 5 months.
The survey forms supplied each year will request data as required by the ICBF and may include,
but not limited to, the following:
Commitment 1: Calf Sire, Calving ease, Birth Size & Calf Vigour.
Commitment 2: Calf Quality, Calf Docility Dam Docility, Dam Milk–Ability, Dam Mothering
Ability, Dam Feet and Legs, Dam Teat Score & Dam Udder Score.
Dam departure reason for information purpose.
Closing date for submission of traits for Commitment 1 and Commitment 2 is 15th February
annually. Data will not be accepted after this date. Please see example for scheme year 1.
Please note this is not an exhaustive list and changes may occur.
Surveys must be completed using:
- Farm software providers
- Paper–based survey forms are available to be printed down from the ICBF website.
Applicants must attend two SCEP training courses related to the Programme. The training courses are designed to provide:
- An introduction to the SCEP
- Information on the individual requirements of the Programme, such as data collection, genotyping, genomic indexes and the replacement strategy.
- Information on controls, inspections and sanctions.
- Information on health and safety and livestock handling.
- The two courses may be completed in one day or over different days but must be fully completed by 15th November 2024. The training will be facilitated by a training provider approved by the Department following an open tender process. Applicants will be provided with details of the training provider and course locations following the completion of the tender process.
- Applicants must be in attendance and show ID as proof, they will have to sign in and sign out. No nominees can attend. Course materials will be available online after the training is completed.
- Failure to attend the training courses by 15th November 2024 will result in removal from the programme and any monies paid under the programme will be recouped.
- Participants will receive NO payment for attending the training course.