A funding shortfall awaits dairy farmers who applied for the new Dairy Calf Welfare Scheme, which is financed under the CAP strategic plan.

According to the Department of Agriculture, a total of 13,541 dairy farmers applied to the scheme, which is to run for four years from 2024 to 2027.

A total fund of €25m was allocated to the scheme and the maximum number of animals that the €20 payment could be claimed on per farm is 50, meaning the maximum annual payment per farm is €1,000.

If each participant has 50 eligible calves born annually, the total fund required would be over twice the amount allocated at €54m.

If no additional funding is put forward and if each participant in the scheme has 50 eligible calves, the payment per calf will be reduced to just over €9/calf.


The Department of Agriculture stated when the scheme was launched that if it is oversubscribed, the payment would be reduced on a pro-rata basis.