The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation’s (ICBF’s) ‘Animal Search’ facility is set to hit record usage levels in 2018, with over 2.5 million searches completed in the first seven months of this year alone.

Used for accessing genetic indexes online, over 3.7 million searches were carried out in 2017; this was an increase of over 850,000 hits compared to the figures for the previous year.

However, 2017 was the first full calendar year that the ICBF’s ‘Animal Search’ facility had been available since changing from the ‘Bull Search’ earlier in 2016, the federation explained.

It is expected that the tool will be used over four million times this year.

In a statement, the ICBF said: “This is an impressive statistic and shows just how much dairy and beef farmers, including people from the breeding industry, value the ‘Animal Search’ facility.

“The ICBF’s ‘Animal Search’ facility gives users up-to-date genetic and progeny performance information on AI bulls, stock bulls and females located in a Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) or HerdPlus herd.”


Breakdown of usage of ICBF’s ‘Animal Search’ facility in the first seven months of 2018. Image source: ICBF

With over 2.5 million searches carried out on the facility between January and July of this year, it represents a jump of over 177,000 hits compared to the same time period in 2017.

“There has been consistent growth in the number of animal searches carried out on the ICBF’s ‘Animal Search’ facility in recent years. This is really showing the value of the tool to farmers and indeed all people in the industry,” the federation concluded.