Bothar to transport 1,000th heifer to Rwanda this week

This week Irish international aid agency Bothar will transport its 1,000th in-calf heifer to Rwanda.

The record heifer is expected to be aboard Bothar’s first airlift of 2017, which was due to take off today after all the animals are gathered at Roscrea Mart at 11am.

Bothar has been sending Irish in-calf heifers to the developing African nation for the past eight years. 

When these heifers reach their destination they will be handed over to local women widowed by the Rwandan genocide which took place in 1994.

During this period between 800,000 to 1m people were killed during a 90 day period in a country slightly larger than the province of Munster. 

Tipperary’s All-Ireland winning senior hurling manager Michael Ryan was among those attending the Bothar collection event at Roscrea Mart, as well as farmers from right across the country who have donated animals.

Largest Ever Multi-Species Airlift from Ireland

The biggest ever multi-species airlift from Ireland was carried out by Bothar as 5,300 animals flew to Rwanda from Shannon airport last year.

The ‘Bothar Ark’ departed from Shannon airport on Monday October 10, 2016 with a cargo of cattle, pigs, and poultry on the 25th anniversary of the charity’s first airlift, which also took off from Shannon.

The animals that were transported to Rwanda included 37 in-calf dairy heifers, 260 pigs, 100 dairy goats and 5,000 chicks.

The record animal airlift saw the food-and-income-producing animals change the lives of almost 800 African families.

Just nine days after his third All-Ireland title win as Dublin manager, Gavin became one of two ‘groomsmen’ on board the flight.

Also on board was 5,000 doses of bovine semen for the Rwandan Breeding Programme which is run by sBothar’s sister agency Heifer International.