The Beef Carbon Reduction Scheme

Date published: 19 December 2023

A new Beef Carbon Reduction Scheme aimed at reducing livestock greenhouse gas emissions and improving efficiency in the beef sector, will be introduced from 1 January 2024.


The Scheme, introduced by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), is part a new programme of Farm Support and Development that is being developed to replace current support schemes. It has been designed to improve the efficiency of the beef sector and reduce livestock greenhouse gas emissions, thereby contributing to meeting the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 targets.

The Beef Carbon Reduction Scheme will support a reduction in the maximum age at slaughter of clean finished beef animals over a four-year implementation period. Farmers slaughtering clean finished beef animals at or below the target age for the year of the Scheme will receive a payment for each eligible animal slaughtered. Information to identify the slaughter age of eligible cattle will be drawn by DAERA from information held on the NIFAIS system. The payment will be made to the producer who held the animal for at least 60 days during the final 100 days of its life before slaughter.  Animals moved out of Northern Ireland for immediate slaughter elsewhere will also be eligible for this payment. 

Scheme Year

Max age at slaughter

Year 1

30 months

Year 2

28 months

Year 3

27 months

Year 4

26 months


Payment rates under the Scheme will have a phased introduction from January – March 2024. The payment rate in January 2024 will be £20 per eligible animal, in February 2024 the payment rate will be £40 and in March 2024 the payment rate will be £60. From April 2024 onwards the payment rate will be £75 per eligible animal.

Farmers do not need to do anything further at this stage, and further information will be provided with future press releases and on the DAERA website.

Download more information and frequently asked questions on the Beef Carbon Reduction Scheme.

Notes to editors: 

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  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 811

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