At its beef seminar in Tullow, Co Carlow last night, Wexford-based Slaney Foods outlined to farmers and vets developments in its new disease monitoring scheme.

Slaney has designed a system in its new abattoir that will enable the vets to record real-time information on the health of the animals.

Outlining the system last night, Shane McGuckin a vet working with Slaney Foods, said: “We were happy to be asked to setup this scheme in the factory. We are examining the carcasses on a daily basis looking at livers, lungs and so on.

“But also from the other end we are glad to get the information back from our own clients. If they get a report from the factory showing Liver Fluke or pneumonia, then we can talk about it and try to solve the problem. We have the information now to work off.”

McGuckin continued: “The important thing in setting up the system is that it had to be handy to use. We only have about 40 seconds for each carcass. The system is reasonable quick to operate and it operates via touch screen.”

The diseases recorded by the system presently include Liver Fluke, Lung Pleurisy, pneumonia, timber tongue and head abbesses.

However there are plans in place to look at high pH, late pregnancy and Rumen Fluke.

David Lyng of Slaney Foods commented: “The information that has been captured is that this is deemed most relevant in terms of animal performance and thrive.”

He explained: “It is of critical importance when farmers receive information from Slaney they use the information to improve herd health.”

He stressed that farmers should contact their vet and set up a plan to deal with the issues identified in the post-mortem report.

In addition, Slaney Foods has developed a dedicated website for its farmers where they can access the information. It did stress that the herd health information will be posted out to farmers along with their cheque.

The website is available here.