Farm Ireland

Friday 15 December 2017

Western Charolais breeders object to national council standing on ICBF animal ranking

Pedigree Charolais cow by Blakestown Crusade and her newborn heifer calf by David's stockbull Blakestown Gladiator, a son of Blakestown Artiste
Pedigree Charolais cow by Blakestown Crusade and her newborn heifer calf by David's stockbull Blakestown Gladiator, a son of Blakestown Artiste

Martin Ryan

Split in Charolais breeders group over support for ICBF Whole Herd Recording

The 'stars' are shinning the way to the future for Charolais breeders in the mid-west region as they unanimously decide on backing the ICBF Whole Herd Recording for animal ranking, against the current policy of the association's governing body, the Irish Charolais Breeders National Council. 

The Charolais Council is the only breed society holding back on support for the ICBF Whole Herd Recording for determining the 'Stars'.

The decision taken at the largely attended Annual Meeting of the Limerick-Clare Pedigree Charolais Breeders at Newmarket-on-Fergus after considerable debate on the pro's and con's for breeders of the new system of assessment, is now to be referred to the National Council of the association.

Chairman, Jerry O'Keeffe confirmed that ICBF had declined an invitation to have a representative attend and address the breeders at the meeting on the subject.

Several of the breeders present expressed concerns over the "inconsistency" of the Euro-Star ratings and the "inadequacy" of the breeding information base upon which the 'stars' are awarded, as critical issues which require to be addressed immediately if the system is to be creditable.

"It is most frustrating that a five star bull, goes down to three stars before a sale, and is a five star again when more information is fed in", breeders complained stressing "there has to be more consistency in the rating if it is going to be creditable".

Barry Quinn, secretary said that the cost of the Whole Herd Recording will be an issue for the larger herds, and fluctuating date and the necessity to get more information as quickly as possible "because if we don't get in accurate information we will still be giving out about it in five years time".

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He added that more genomic testing will improve the quality of the data being used and breeders must ensure that the information is accurate "which is a huge challenge that is facing all breeds if we are to make it work".

"Fluctuating date is a huge issue among breeders and the only way of solving it is by getting more information through the Whole Herd Recording, that should give more balance" he said.

Doreen Corridon, Munster AI, said that "The lack of information in the system is affecting the results that breeders are getting, and there is a lot of concern about that, but we have to work with it, because it is the only show in town if we are to go forward in breeding".

She added "With the amount of money that is going in from the Government to the BDGP Scheme and the amount of geonomic testing that is being done as well as the integration of the whole system of information through the marts and the factories in Ireland, we could really be the breeders for Europe."

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