Leading bull stud hit by IBR 'nightmare'
Outbreak at NCBC leaves top-ranked animals facing slaughter
The country's largest bull testing centre has been rocked following confirmation of an IBR outbreak at the facility last week.
Some 47 of the National Cattle Breeding Centre's (NCBC) top bulls are now awaiting slaughter, including SOK and KOZ, the two top-ranked dairy bulls in the ICBF's spring 2011 sire list.
NCBC is fearful that more of 18 remaining bulls will test positive before the end of the week in what has been described by management as their "worst nightmare come true".
Staff at the NCBC headquarters at Enfield, Co Meath, were said to be shocked following news of the outbreak. The breeding firm suffered from previous outbreak of IBR at their young bull unit just over a year ago.
However, NCBC can take some consolation from the fact that a number of new young bulls with EBIs of up to €240 have been shielded from the disease by virtue of their location on a separate unit.
Developments in genomic testing will accelerate the introduction of this next generation of bulls over the next 12 months.
In addition to huge loss of their best bulls, the stud also faces dumping 100,000 doses of semen, valued at more than €1m.
"We will be discarding all the semen collected in the period after our last clear test as a precautionary measure," confirmed NCBC's chief executive, Bernard Eivers.