Pedigree breeders are being forced to “narrow” bloodlines as a result of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP), according to Peadar Glennon from the Irish Simmental Cattle Society.

Concerns shared by breeders and farmers regarding the BDGP scheme were shared at a meeting in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, on Thursday, July 26.

From a pedigree society’s point of view, the impact the BDGP scheme will have on bloodlines in the next 10 or 15 years’ time will be detrimental, Glennon said.

Addressing the meeting, he added: “Because everyone is narrowing the bloodlines towards the top.

Pedigree breeders have no option but to try and do the same in order to breed bulls that people will purchase. Everyone is narrowing the triangle to the top.

“In 10 or 15 years’ time, where will the bloodlines come from? Pedigree breeders – who are traditionally good stock people – went out to the continent or wherever; if they bring in cattle at the minute, they start on the floor.

“So they have no place in the BDGP scheme going forward. It’s a matter of urgency that these things are addressed,” Glennon explained.

Independent audit

Meanwhile, the Simmental breeder also outlined that there needs to be “transparency” when it comes to the data that the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) is using to support the BDGP scheme.

Glennon called for members of the Joint Oireachtas Agriculture Committee to reexamine figures presented to them by the ICBF in recent months – to ensure that like was being compared with like.

Continuing, he said: “Are we happy that the figures are correct? I think some of us involved in the industry would seriously question whether we are or not.

For that reason, we as a Simmental breed society – along with other breed societies – has consistently for an independent audit of the ICBF workings. So far that has fell on deaf ears. 

“If the independent audit comes back and tells us that everything is perfect, well then we have got to accept that and work with it.

“But at the moment, I certainly have doubts – as does most other breed society people,” he concluded.