Every calf in Ireland is tagged at birth and issued with an individual passport to record all farm movements and health history during its lifetime. No animal can enter a production facility without its passport being verified through the department of agriculture’s Animal Identification and Movement System (AIM) computer system; because of this all Irish beef can be traced back to the farm of origin.
Irish grass-based farming has strong welfare credentials. The Animal Welfare Index (AWI) developed by Teagasc (Ireland’s farm advisory service) is a science based assessment and confirms that Irish grassland farming provides a natural growing environment, with good welfare conditions created by smaller social groups. This allows the opportunity for a strong maternal bond between cows and calves to develop with calves spending the first 6-10 months suckling their mothers at pasture. Irish beef never contains hormones and cows are only administered antibiotics when prescribed by a veterinary to treat illness. All medications prescribed are recorded in the cow’s individual passport providing complete traceability.