Society Summary – March 2021 Update

Society Summary

As ‘online’ appears to be the new normal for everyone the Society felt it was necessary to write out to inform you of the changes that the last year has brought, how the Society is moving forward and to remind you that all Society updates will be published on our website. We are aware that ‘online’ isn’t for everyone but would encourage you to make an allowance for online access to keep you informed.

The past year has brought about very demanding times for the Society facing several important changes and challenges that have taken a lot of time and planning so we can adapt and progress. We will summarise these below:

Brexit – The Brexit situation accelerated creating one of the most important issues the Directors of the Society have had to deal with in a long time. Originally it was indicated by DAERA that there was a possibility of an agreement under the NI Protocols however after a huge amount of work undertaken by the Society this was fruitless and we were left with the reality that quick action needed taken before 1st January 2021 or the Society would have lost all animals registered within the EU from the Herd book. It was unanimously agreed that the Society Herd Book will stay as a united unit.

After a massive commitment of work and numerous Zoom meetings, the Society’s Brexit Committee looked at a number of options and it was agreed that the company would move to an EU address within the province of Ulster as a recognition of the breeds origins, an application was made to have the Irish Moiled cattle Society recognised as a breed under EU regulations and a further application made for the approval of the Breeding Programme.

At present we are very confident as we meet the final requirements and await approval. The Society are unique in our situation and feel that this is a time to embrace changes that may bring many opportunities and a new chapter to its history.

The small team of Brexit Committee have worked tirelessly to ensure all structures are in place to allow the continuous and seamless entry of all animals into the Irish Moiled Cattle Society herd book along with approved documentation for the future whilst aiming to ensure that no one from the three constituencies would be left behind, or excluded from any part of the Society, or their animals from the Herd book.

The day to day running of the Society will continue as normal but there are a number of small changes that we will highlight.

Breeding ProgrammeThe Society Breeding Plan is an extensive EU document that will be extended into the UK. All members are expected to adhere to the programme. Breeding programme is published on website.

Hair SamplesThe Society have advised from 18 months ago (Oct 2019) that hair samples are collected from the tail ‘switch’, the bottom of the tail, which contain larger root follicles. This should continue and all animals must be birth notified with the Society. The Society Herd Book will still be accessible through the Grassroots System. Classification and coefficients will continue through the Hon. Registrar with no change from the present. A short video ‘How to take a Hair Sample’ is available on the website.

Cost of RegistrationsFemales – any age €55/£50 and Males – any age €85/£75 this is partly to cover genotyping costs and to encourage greater care when selecting a bull for breeding. (Chairperson’s Update regarding this on website).

Zootechnical CertificatesAll animals being moved outside their current jurisdiction will need to be accompanied by an up to date Zootechnical Certificate issued by the Breed Secretary. Going forward, we will be replacing our Pedigree Certificates with a Zootechnical Certificate, where possible. We expect these to be digital so you as the breeder can receive by email PDF and print out easily at home on white paper. Where this facility is not available, we can issue a printed copy on request. It is therefore paramount that you supply us with your up to date email address and inform us of any changes.

Genomic Evaluation & ICBFICBF offer the tool of Genomic Evaluation which we hope will be available to all interested breeders. This will start with all breeding bulls being subject to a full Genomic Evaluation.  This is a new and exciting development for the breed and ensures the Irish Moiled Cattle Society and the Irish Moiled breed will be at the forefront of new technology with the more modern SNP technique. Currently Genomic Evaluation is available to EU members direct through ICBF and to UK breeders through the IMCS. Regardless of your region please keep in touch with the Breed Secretary or Hon. Registrar with plans for your herd.

This new test will provide the breeder with a Genetic Evaluation.  All bulls entered in the Herdbook will be given a star rating by ICBF this will provide a good tool for breeders when picking a stock bull.  The stars will be for terminal and maternal traits. The more bulls on the system the more reliable this becomes.   ( Please see reverse page for more information.

Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) TestingThe Irish Moiled Cattle Society has a long tradition of parent proving all registered cattle using DNA analysis. This journey started some 20 years ago using the Microsatellite (MS) technique available at the time. We were one of the first Breed Society’s to introduce both Sire and Dam DNA verification to ensure the integrity of our pedigrees. Unfortunately, this technique is now old technology and becoming obsolete.

It has become evident that a switch to the more up to date Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) testing has become a necessity. This should maintain our proud history and keep our breed at the forefront in this field. SNP DNA testing is seen as the industry standard and opens a whole new area of Genetic Evaluation to Irish Moiled cattle that is not available with Microsatellite. This is an exciting development for the breed and one positive to come from the recent restructuring of the Society due to Brexit. The process of switching will be a challenging process and will involve changes to registration costs, but we feel it is a necessity to keep the integrity of the breeds parent verification.

Herd ReturnsIt is therefore imperative for all breeders to ensure their herd returns are up to date. Keeping your herd list up to date helps ensure the smooth running of the Society and  your registration process. This is quick and easy to do via the ‘Manage your herd’ section on the online Grassroots Herdbook. Passwords and usernames if lost or forgotten can be obtained from the Breed Secretary. Herd updates can also be sent to the Breed Secretary Gillian Steele via email  or WhatsApp 07842185008.

Magnificent Moilies Spring Bull SaleAfter a phenomenally successful Online Timed Auction in autumn 2020, the Irish Moiled Cattle Society sale committee have taken the steps to organise another Online Timed Auction of elite bulls and a selection of females from 6th to 8th May 202. Numbers in the auction will be restricted, 15 of the best bulls and 10 of the best females will be selected from all entries received. Preliminary videos and images will need to be submitted by Sat 27th March 2021. You must register with the auctioneers H&H prior to sale to enable you to bid. All classes, how to enter and further details are all on the website. If you are thinking of entering or have a stock bull moving off your farm and have progeny due by him, please take and store a hair sample in a Hair sample bag making sure to write on the tag, name, sire, and dam.

Administration & Communication – Please make yourself, a ‘regular’ to our website. Annual Membership is €50/£40 – after 1st February, each year this rises to €60/£50 – no transactions will be completed on your herd unless fully paid.

Society Publications & Breeder Resources are all on our website.  Grassroots Systems Ltd are developing a new App – you will be able to download the App (approx. £14.99 per annum) and birth notify, photograph and update animal information. Although online is not suitable for everyone, 2020 showed that resources can be saved and although we don’t wish to go paperless we would encourage everyone to have access or perhaps appoint a family member or friend to help with access. We expect all 2021 meetings to be online. This includes our AGM and future info sessions for fully paid up members. The links to these meetings will be published on our website and hosted by the Breed Secretary via Zoom.

We are pleased to say that in addition to our Society website, Facebook page, Instagram, email, text and phone, you can now WhatsApp the Breed Secretary on (0044) 07842185008 at any time.