Breed societies apologise for no-show at BEEF 2018

When Teagasc held its BEEF 2018 event in Grange, Co. Meath, last week, a number of Ireland’s pedigree breed societies decided not to attend.

The various breed societies were allocated spaces in a tent which was focused on breeding at the event. The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and a number of AI companies also had stands in the same tent.

Also Read: Majority of breed societies ‘a no-show’ at BEEF 2018

However, in a statement, the Pedigree Cattle Breeders’ Council of Ireland outlined that the breed societies wished to apologise to Teagasc for their non-attendance at BEEF 2018 and for missing the opportunity to meet with beef farmers.

But, the breed societies wished to highlight that – due to ongoing difficulties with ICBF matters – they felt that they were “left with no other option in order to try and get discussion initiated and hopefully issues addressed”.

The breed societies believe that there are a number of issues that “require immediate action in order to try to secure the future of the suckler sector in these very challenging times”.

It is understood that the ICBF is set to meet with the breed societies in two weeks’ time.

What are the main issues?

Continuing, the statement said: “There is an urgent need for full transparency on how all the evaluation indexes are arrived at.

To allow all sectors to have full confidence in these evaluations, the call for an independent audit of all aspects of data evaluations is again being made.

“It is vital for all of the agri industry that we have correct evaluations, as we are totally reliant on them.”

As well as this, the breed societies are calling on the board of the ICBF to appoint beef specialists.

This call has been made on “numerous occasions, but has not been acted on”, the statement added.

Furthermore, it stated that the role of a liaison person to work between all sides needs to be assessed.

The breed societies outlined that it is important that any problem or blockage encountered can be progressed quickly; this compares to the “current scenario of slow response times from the ICBF, coupled with a lack of engagement”.

Meanwhile, the statement called for a “full independent review” of the Beef Gene Ireland Maternal Progeny Test Programme in order to “dispel concerns regarding the direction that this programme is taking the industry”.

In relation to the maternal programme, breed societies are of the opinion that other options need to be assessed which are “more cost effective and will lead to genetic progress”.

Finally, the breed societies are calling for a review of the composition of the board of the ICBF.

Concluding, the statement said: “All of our breed societies and their representatives look forward to working closely with the ICBF and its other stakeholders once the current difficulties are discussed and resolved in the best interests of the industry.”