Farmers to receive reports on health of cattle at factories
Farmers will start getting new reports on the liver and lung health of animals that they bring to the factory as part of a new Beef Healthcheck programme being launched by Animal Health Ireland (AHI).
While plants such as Slaney Meats in Wexford and ABP have been providing liver fluke reports to their farmer suppliers for some time, standardised reports with information on lung lesions, liver abscesses and fluke burdens will be available from every plant over the course of the coming months.
With up to 50pc of livers being excluded from the food chain costing farmers and beef processors at least €90m annually, the initiative should be a win-win for everyone in the industry.
In addition, the training of veterinary inspectors to standardise the monitoring process will allow the data collected to be incorporated into disease resistance indexes being developed by ICBF for future cattle breeding indexes.
"Abscesses can show the farmer that there is a problem with the level of grain being included in the diet, while lung lesions will show the farmer how successful his pneumonia control programme is," said AHI's spokesperson Rebecca Carroll.
"And every farmer needs to know if they are staying on top of the fluke burden in their farms.
"The information should be available to the farmer immediately, in the same format no matter where they are killing their animals."