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Animal Breeding

Satisfactory results in animal breeding depend to a large extent on the use of domestic animals of high genetic quality. Purebred animal breeding in Ireland is governed by rules and standards provided in EU Regulation. The current EU Animal Breeding Regulation is Regulation (EU) 2016/1012 and is applicable as of 1 November 2018. It outlines the rules and standards that must be followed to trade purebred breeding animals, hybrid breeding pigs or germinal products like semen, embryos or ova. It requires an organisation to be recognised as a breed society for purebred breeding animals or a breeding operation for hybrid breeding pigs and to have an approved breeding programme.

In order to comply with the requirements of the EU legislation, the following pages contain information on:

Other Information concerning Animal Breeding

 

 

 

 

 

1. Approved Establishments in the Veterinary Field

(a) Assembly Centres

(b) Dealers

(c) Semen Collection and Storage Centres

(d) Embryo Collection & Production Teams

(e) Quarantine Facilities or Centres

(f) Establishments for Poultry

2. Approved Laboratories

(a) National Reference Laboratories

List of National Reference Laboratories (doc 35Kb)           

(b) Other Laboratories

 

3. Relevant Application Forms

 

 

 

 

1. Bovines

DIY A.I. Licences

Persons wishing to practice artificial insemination in their bovine herd must be appropriately trained and licensed and ensure that only semen from approved sources is used in the process. No person other than the herdowner, or his/her nominee, who has satisfactorily completed an approved programme of training in the practice of artificial insemination, can be approved by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to carry out the inseminations within that herd.

Field Service Licences

Field Service Licence holders provide a year-round quality bovine artificial insemination service (A.I.) to farmers through a network of trained licenced A.I. technicians. Each Field Service Licence must:

  • Ensure that good veterinary practices and procedures are adhered to;
  • Utilise semen only from approved sources;
  • Maintain satisfactory records; and
  • Facilitate the recording, testing, genetic evaluation and publication of results of bulls used for test purposes.

A.I. Technicians Licences

The provision of a quality bovine A.I. service is ensured through the licensing of A.I. technicians employed by, or contracted to, Field Service Licence holders.

Bovine Distribution Semen Licences

Organisations or individuals must be appropriately licensed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to engage in the distribution of bovine semen thereby protecting animal health and welfare and traceability of the product.

Approval of Bovine Semen Storage Centres

Premises where bovine semen is stored must meet specified EU standards and must be placed under the permanent supervision of a centre veterinarian approved by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Please note persons intending to apply for an approval for a bovine semen storage centre are advised to contact the Department at the outset so as to obtain full information on the approval process.

Approval of Bovine Semen Collection Centres

Premises where semen is collected must meet specified EU standards and must be placed under the permanent supervision of a centre veterinarian approved by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Please note persons intending to apply for an approval for a bovine semen collection centre are advised to contact the Department at the outset so as to obtain full information on the approval process.

Approval of Bovine Ova/Embryo Collection or Production Teams

Only teams approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the purpose of producing and or collecting bovine ovas/embryos can operate such a service.

On-Farm Collection of Bovine Semen

Herdowners can preserve the bloodline of their bovine herd by having semen collected from their own herd for use within their own herd. Applicants or their employees for on-farm collection must have a D.I.Y. A.I. licence to store semen and they can only store a quantity of semen (collected on-farm or otherwise) to the maximum allowed by his/her D.I.Y. A.I. licence.

Where an applicant does not have a D.I.Y. A.I. licence the semen collected on-farm must be stored in an approved centre and released only for use in his/her herd to a licensed A.I. company inseminator. Prior approval must be obtained from the Department.

2. Equine

Approval of Equine Ova/Embryo Collection or Production Teams

Only teams approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the purpose of producing and or collecting equine ovas/embryos can operate such a service.

Approval of Equine Semen Collection and Storage Centre

The construction and operation of an Equine Semen Collection and Storage Center is set down in EU and National legislation. Please note persons intending to apply for an approval for a equine semen collection and storage centre are advised to contact the Department at the outset so as to obtain full information on the approval process.

 

3. Canine Semen

The import and export of Canine Semen must be licensed. The importation of canine semen is governed by the Importation of animal semen (prohibition) order 1972

Information and application forms for import and exports of canine semen may be obtained by contacting canine@agriculture.gov.ie

 

4. Relevant Application Forms

 

Further information on the above can be obtained from:

Livestock Breeding Production and Trade Division,

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,

Farnham Street,

Cavan,

H12 D459.

Tel: 049 4368293

Fax: 049 4361486

Email: livbrsi@agriculture.gov.ie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish Cattle Breeding Federation

The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) was formally set up in 1998 and is a non-profit organisation charged with providing cattle breeding information services to the Irish dairy and beef industries. ICBF is not a State body, but it undertakes a number of activities which were previously the responsibility of the Department.  

ICBF shareholders represent organisations involved in cattle breed improvement activities (A.I. Services, Herd Book Societies and Milk Recording Societies) and the main farm bodies (IFA and ICMSA). 

The funding is used to assist with the costs associated with the following activities:

  • Providing genetic evaluations for beef and dairy cattle in Ireland
  • Operating and maintaining the ICBF database and animal events recording system,
  • Operating the bull performance / progeny test centre at Tully and
  • Establishing and supporting the breeding programmes for Irish dairy and beef breeds.

Infrastructure Programme

DAFM provides funding to ICBF under the Cattle/Sheep Breeding Infrastructure Programme The purpose of the scheme is to assist ICBF in the provision of cattle and sheep breeding services to Irish cattle and sheep farmers.

2020 Cattle/Sheep Infrastructure ProgrammeTerms and Conditions (doc 26Kb)   

Methane Capture (doc 150Kb)       

Methane Capture Project – Terms and Conditions (doc 25Kb)       

 

Further information on ICBF can be obtained from:

The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, Highfield House, Bandon, Co Cork P72 X050

Tel: +353 23 8820222

Fax: +353 23 8820229

Email: query@icbf.com

Website: www.ICBF.com

 

Sheep Ireland

Sheep Ireland, which was established in 2008, is an industry owned stand-alone company but is very closely connected to ICBF which provides management & technical services to it. Sheep Ireland is designated with the responsibility of increasing the rate of genetic gain in the Irish sheep sector by identifying and promoting the use of rams with more profitable and sustainable genetics. Funding is provided towards costs associated with sheep breeding activities, some of which, had been carried out by DAFM until 2008 and include:

  • Providing genetic evaluations
  • Operating and maintaining the Sheep Ireland database

Further information on Sheep Ireland can be obtained from:

Sheep Ireland, Highfield House, Shinagh, Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland. P72 X050

Tel: +353 23 882 0451

Fax: +353 23 8820229

Email: query@sheep.ie

Website: www.sheep.ie

 

Horse Sport Ireland

Horse Sport Ireland was established in December 2006 following a report (the ‘Dowling Report’) which recommended new governance structures for the horse sport industry in Ireland to bring together breeding and equestrian sports under a common organisational umbrella.  Horse Sport Ireland is charged with responsibility for the development and promotion of breeding aspects of the sport horse sector. It is also the Governing Body for equestrian sport in Ireland (32 counties) and recognised by the International Governing Body (FEI), The Irish Sports Council and the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI). 

The Department provides an annual grant to Horse Sport Ireland (HSI), for the development and promotion of the Irish Sport Horse, breeding and production sector, the operation of the and administration of their studbooks.

Further information on Horse Sport Ireland can be obtained from:

Horse Sport Ireland, 1st Floor, Beech House, Millennium Park, Osberstown, Naas, Co. Kildare. W91 TK7N

Tel: +353 45 850800

Fax: +353 45 850850

Email: info@horsesportireland.ie

Website: www.horsesportireland.ie

The keeping of mink is subject to licensing by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Musk Rats Act, 1933, and the Musk Rats Act, 1933 (Application to Mink) Order, 1965.

For further information contact:

Livestock Breeding Production and Trade Division,

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,

Farnham Street,

Cavan,

H12 D459.

Tel: 049 4368293

Fax: 049 4361486

Email: livbrsi@agriculture.gov.ie

 

The conservation of animal genetic resources for food and agriculture is essential to preserve ensure biological diversity, to preserve data and traits that ensure sustainable agriculture, to ensure the future adaptability of breeds, to promote the use of genetic resources in commerce and biotechnology, and to conserve genetic diversity for cultural reasons. Ireland has a number of animal breeds that are native to this country. Those breeds official recognised as a native rare breed are

 

Cattle: Kerry, Dexter, Irish Maol, Droimeann

Equine: Connemara Pony, Irish Draught.

Sheep: Galway

 

A range of measures are available to ensure their conservation and use on farms. The primary methods of supporting these breeds is through the GLAS scheme. There are also a number of other targeted schemes such as:

  1. Kerry Cattle Premium Scheme

The Scheme encourages the maintenance of a number of separate herds of Kerry Cattle in Ireland and the creation and maintenance of a sufficient reserve of pure bred breeding stock. An applicant is eligible to participate in the scheme if:

  • he or she is a member of the Kerry Cattle Society Ltd;
  • his or her herd is located within the territory of the State and contains at least five breeding females registered in the Herd book of the Kerry Cattle Society Ltd;
  • all Kerry cows in the herd are served by bulls of the Kerry breed, either by natural service or artificial insemination;
  • all progeny of Kerry cows in the herd are submitted for birth notification or registration in the Kerry Cattle Herd Book and are registered with ICBF and the Department through the Animal Events system; and
  • each animal, on which premium is being applied for, was born in the applicant's herd and is alive on the date of application.

A premium of €120.00 per eligible calf is payable.

 

2. Genetic Resources Grant Aid Scheme

This Scheme has been in place since 1996 and has an annual call for projects aimed at supporting the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture. Projects are evaluated by an advisory committee, representing broad national stakeholder interests. Over the years, funding has been provided to a diverse range of projects, including practical hands-on conservation initiatives, raising awareness and education of the general public of the importance of genetic resources, and participation in internationally recognised research and collaboration with European and other international partners in the field of plant and animal genetic resources.

Further information on the Genetic Resources Grant Aid Scheme is available from the link HERE

 

3. Rare Breed Preservation Grant

The objective of the Rare Breed Preservation Grant is to assist organisations conserve and protect Irish rare breed farm animals as an important resource of livestock heritage which needs to be conserved as a vital genetic resource for future generations and the benefit of agriculture.

This Scheme shall be administered through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Application forms and Terms and Conditions can be downloaded from Rare Breed Preservation Grant 2019 (doc 118Kb)         

 

For further information contact:

Livestock Breeding Production and Trade Division,

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,

Farnham Street,

Cavan,

H12 D459.

Tel: 049 4368293

Fax: 049 4361486

Email: livbrsi@agriculture.gov.ie

 

1. Criteria laid down for the distribution of funds for the safeguard, development and improvement of breeding (Directive 90/428/EEC)

 

2. Equine competitions falling under the derogation from the principle of non-discrimination (Council Directive 90/428)

 

For further information contact:

Livestock Breeding Production and Trade Division,

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,

Farnham Street,

Cavan,

H12 D459.

Tel: 049 4368293

Fax: 049 4361486

Email: livbrsi@agriculture.gov.ie