By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Coughlan announces funding for AI Promotional Campaign for 2007

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced funding for a 2007 campaign aimed at increasing the usage of artificial insemination (AI) in the Irish cattle herd. The Minister said that she was delighted to be in a position to provide €100,000, towards the cost of this initiative with the remainder of the cost being funded by the industry. Minister Coughlan noted that this measure is consistent with the undertakings given in the Agri-Vision 2015 Action Plan aimed at strengthening competitiveness.

The Minister stated that the use of AI has declined dramatically over the past 10 years to a very low level in Ireland and that a concerted effort is required immediately by all industry stakeholders to reverse this decline. The Minister shares the concerns expressed by the AI industry, ICBF, Teagasc and others regarding this decline. The initiative being launched today follows on from a successful promotion campaign started in 2006 that has helped to arrest the decline in AI usage for the first time in many years. A key target for the campaign is to increase the number of AI bred dairy replacements. Improving AI uptake in the beef herd will also be a key target this year.

"AI is very important for breeding more profitable replacement stock. In simple terms, AI enables bulls of known superior genetic merit to be used to produce higher quality and more profitable cattle. Better breeding is a key factor in increasing returns to Irish dairy and beef farmers in the next 5 to 10 years," she said.

Minister Coughlan welcomed the involvement of all parties across the industry in this unique initiative with the overall aim of increasing the competitiveness, quality and profitability of the Irish cattle farming industry and complimented all those involved in the partnership approach adopted.

Minister Coughlan outlined the main elements of the campaign which will involve:

  • Regional meetings for key industry personnel.

    This will comprise of a series of eight regional one-day workshops for some 450 people involved in the industry such as AI technicians and sales personnel, Teagasc Advisors, Dairy Co-op trading sales staff and breeding advisors.

  • Knowledge building for farmers through targeted advertising.

    This will be achieved through a series of press and radio advertisements.

  • Knowledge building for farmers through livestock marts events.

    A series of four regional events will be held at local livestock marts, which will include an information forum, AI trade stands, and a sale of high Economic Breeding Index (EBI) dairy heifers.

  • A survey

    of the outcomes from the campaign to measure its effectiveness.

Minister Coughlan concluded by wishing the promoters of the campaign every success with their efforts and said it represented "an excellent chance for farmers to avail of superior genetics which will ensure future generations of farmers have access to the best quality animals possible".

20 February, 2007

Date Released: 20 February 2007