Charolais Society - 'unacceptable cost'

"A fertility test is not something that we've considered before now," said the Charolais Society's Nuala Hourihane.

"For a start it would be an unacceptable cost for many breeders who are finding it hard to make sense of the expense it takes to bring a bull to auction rather than just fattening him for the factory.

"If it was closer to €30 it would make a lot more sense.

"But there's also the issue of whether it would stand up in court. You know that a bull could easily test fertile but then prove infertile due to the handling or circumstances that he experiences. We already measure the testicles of every bull that goes through the auction for abnormalities.

"The insurance scheme where the seller contributes six per cent of the sale price and the society contributes a further one per cent is working very well and guarantees that the buyer gets the purchase price back. We're the only society that provide this type of guarantee.

"Having said that, we will be discussing the possibility of introducing routine fertility tests at our next council meeting over the course of the coming weeks."

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Irish Independent

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