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Farm leaders hope that dog ‘chips’ will end sheep carnage

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BY FRANCIS FARRAGHER

THE decision by Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, to microchip all dogs has been warmly welcomed by farm representatives this week who have lobbied for years, to have such a traceability system put in place. Over the past six months there have been a series of dog attacks on sheep in Co. Galway with the Oranmore, Loughrea and Tuam areas particularly badly hit.

“This is long overdue but the announcement from the Minister is to be welcomed. For years, sheep farmers have suffered serious losses due to dog attacks on their flocks without any redress,” said Galway IFA Chairman, Michael Flynn. He also called for the microchipping of the dogs to be linked into some kind of insurance scheme that would put an onus on the dog owners to provide cover for compensation.

“We would like to see the scheme put in place immediately with a proper centralised data base – this has been a scourge in farming that has been allowed to go unchecked for too long,” said Michael Flynn.

He said that as well as the financial loss suffered by farmers, the cruelty element was absolutely horrendous with the packs of dogs ‘boring holes’ into the unfortunate sheep.

IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman, James Murphy, said the move to microchip all dogs had an important role to play in terms of responsible dog ownership but would only be effective if it was matched by a comprehensive central database in the Dept. of Agriculture.

He said it would not make sense to do away with dog licensing altogether once an effective microchipping database was in place and called on Minister Coveney to commit to dog owners that there would be no duplication of costs.

“Farmers are in the middle of the peak lambing season, when sheep flocks are particularly vulnerable to dog attacks, especially during the night,” said James Murphy. He added that up to 2.5m lambs will be born on 30,000 sheep farms across the country by the end of the lambing season.

The news of the microchipping has also been welcomed by Veterinary Ireland who said that the system would be one one of the core tenets of responsible pet ownership.

“Mandatory universal microchip identification will ultimately assist in animal welfare for a number of reasons. A correctly inserted and registered microchip ensures that if a dog gets lost then it can be efficiently and quickly re-united with its owner.

“In addition, if a dog is subject to cruelty or abandonment, or if a dog attacks a person or livestock, then the owner can be identified and can be held accountable, up to and including prosecution.

“Finally, if Ireland e

Connacht Tribune

Query over Department’s BVD Stats

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ALL may not be as the Dept. of Agriculture is painting it in relation to the prevalence of BVD in herds, according to a North Galway farmer who has contacted the Farming Tribune.

The farmer, from the Caltra area, who has a herd of 25 sucklers with no recent buy-ins, said that in the past year he had to have three calves put down due to BVD.

He said that while the Department of Agriculture were trying to paint a picture of BVD almost being eliminated from the national herd, this wasn’t the reality on the ground.

“This just isn’t the case on my farm – I now of other farmers who have lost animals due to BVD,” the farmer stated.

He said that he wanted to put the record straight as regards claims from Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, who had claimed that Ireland was now close to achieving ‘the goal of BVD freedom’.

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) was first recognised as a major disease problem in Irish herds when the first year of the BVD programme started.

According to the Minister for Agriculture, the incidence of the virus in tested animals stood at 0.66% while in 2022, this had dropped to 0.03%.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, said that while the overall national trend in the incidence of BVD was very encouraging, there could still be pockets of the disease in herds.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Angus breeders to hold charity auction of semen this weekend

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No shortage of bull at weekend charity online auction of Angus straws.

IT’S no cock-and-bull story as a novel auction this weekend hopes to raise thousands of euros . . . by selling semen.

Well over 100 lots of the semen – all generously donated by elite Aberdeen Angus bulls – will come under the hammer in the online auction.

The main organiser of the auction is Westmeath’s Colin Duffy of the renowned Kilgarvin Angus Herd with the help of other top breeders.

In total, 117 straws from 45 top Angus bulls will ‘come under the hammer’ in the auction which runs from 1pm on this Friday, Jan. 27 to 7pm on Monday, Jan. 30.

MartEye, the online marts’ sales service, along with Mid-Tipp Marts, will be the official host of the event which is set to benefit two very worthwhile charities.

All proceeds will go to the Irish Community Ambulance service – and Bumbleance, The Children’s National Ambulance Service.

Along with Kilgarvin Angus straws, Jim Dockery’s Towras; Michael Dullea’s Deelishs and Stuart McKeague’s Angus semen will be available to bid on over the weekend.

Also involved in the project is Catherina Cunnane, Editor of the ‘That’s Farming’ news website while AI (artificial insemination) companies are also supporting the charity fundraiser.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Sheep farmers facing a disaster

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IFA National Sheep Chair, Kevin Comiskey

THOUSANDS of sheep farmers across the western region are facing into a severe income crisis with lamb prices down by around €1 per kg, as compared to this time last year.

The drop in prices – which started to click in since mid-December – has also coincided with a steep rise in input costs, especially feed and ration over the past year.

Farm representatives have called on the factories to show ‘a responsible approach’ in trying to keep a floor on prices as the downward trend continues to bite through the first half of January.

IFA National Sheep Chair, Kevin Comiskey, said the Department’s Annual Review and Outlook 2022 had clearly set out the crisis facing sheep farms as market prices failed to reflect the higher production costs on farms.

Lamb quotes at the factories in mid-January have been coming in at around the €6.20/€6.30 (tops) per kg – this time last year the equivalent figure was €7.20/€7.30 per kg.

According to IFA representatives, demand for lamb at the meat plant seems ‘slow’ with a surplus of New Zealand lamb cited as one of the reasons for the lull in the market.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune, that on average, lamb prices were back by around €20 per head, as compared to this time last year.

He said that the sluggish market for lambs in Ireland was being mirrored in the UK, but French farmers were enjoying a buoyant trade with average prices of €8 per kg.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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