Weatherbys in Naas controls the registration of Irish thoroughbreds so, as a breeder, I have to put up with whatever they say.

There was a big ‘hullabaloo’ created by Weatherbys last year when they sent out their flyer to all the breeders in the country which stated that all foals had to be microchipped within 30 days of age and the bloods and markings should be sent to Weatherbys.

The flyer stated that it was mandatory. This was false, there is no law stating foals should be microchipped within 30 days of birth, which is a barbaric act on a baby foal. 

Foals should be four or five months old when they are strong enough to cope with any infection from the microchip.

I enclose a department of agriculture information leaflet which states we have 12 months to get a foal microchipped and registered.

Traceability in horse breeding

Traceability is very important and I fully go along with that, which leads me to another unfortunate experience with Weatherbys. 

I registered my foals with Weatherbys mid-April this year; got the vet to do the microchipping; blood samples; markings, etc and paid the registration fees. 

It is now mid-November, some seven months since I registered my foals and I still have not received the passport for them, so when the vet attends he cannot check their identity or register on the passport the treatment given.

I don’t understand why the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association (I.T.B.A.), which represents us, is not getting involved and sorting out the way us breeders are being treated by Weatherbys.

After all, the ITBA gets €500,000 every year from the foal levy to represent the Irish breeder. What are we paying them for?  Now that the IFA has formed a Mare Owner Committee we might have an organisation to fight our corner.

From Frances Flynn, Co. Wicklow.