'Hot-housed' bulls at risk of stress and infertility
Stock bull sales need to be completely over-hauled to minimise the number of dud bulls being sold to farmers, according to some of the country's top bull fertility specialists.
Midlands vet Donal Lynch claimed "hot-housed" bulls that are pumped with extra feed for months before being sold in high profile sales are prone to lameness, infertility and poor thrive when they arrive at purchasers' farms.
"The system here makes no sense. If the bull isn't fed to the gills before they arrive in the sales ring, they get a poor price.
"But in reality farmers would be better off bidding for animals that arrive fit for work," said Mr Lynch.
Kerry vet, Donal Murphy, pointed to the Continent where French farmers often buy bulls direct from farms.
He stressed that this reduces both the biosecurity risks and any tendency to intensively feed any particular animal.
"The other key factor is making sure the bull arrives on purchasers' farms in plenty of time to acclimatise to their new environment," said Mr Murphy.
"That is in complete contrast to what can happen here were the bull is literally brought home and turned out into a field of cows."