The Irish government is to spend €23m on a DNA testing programme to improve the quality of the Irish beef herd.

The money will be used to map the performance traits of cattle, enabling farmers to make more informed decisions when choosing animals for breeding. It is part of a €40m package of state funds for the sector in 2014 that includes €10m for data collection, €5m for knowledge transfer and €2m for the suckler cow welfare scheme.