Beef HealthCheck

Forward store cattle at the Teagasc Better Farm beef programme farm walk on the lands of Sean Power, Clomantagh, Woodsgift, Co. Kilkenny, Tuesday 15 September 2015. Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

Beef HealthCheck is an Animal Health Ireland-led programme developed in collaboration with Meat Industry Ireland and supported by FBD Trust. The programme has developed tools to assist farmers and their veterinary practitioners to control losses due to liver fluke and pneumonia through capture, analysis and reporting of abattoir data from post mortem meat inspection. The programme is also contributing to the development, by ICBF, of economic breeding indices that incorporate health and disease data.

Beef HealthCheck uses touchscreen technology to allow veterinary inspectors to record their findings on liver and lung pathology. Reports for farmers on batches of animals presented to a factory are issued directly from meat factories. The information is then transferred to the ICBF database.

AHI has now developed Beef HealthCheck Online. This new online dashboard for farmers and their veterinary practitioners provides more tools to search and analyse health and disease information from slaughtered cattle at a herd level. Beef HealthCheck Online can be accessed free of charge through the ICBF website. A booklet to help farmers to access and interpret the information and share it with their veterinary practitioner is available here: click here

As the information accumulates, AHI is looking at regional and national trends. It will be possible to issue alerts when increases in the incidence of live fluke are seen in slaughtered cattle, allowing farmers to make more informed decisions about dosing their cattle. AHI is also looking at the economic impact of conditions found at slaughter on carcass weights and quality. All this information will be communicated back to the agricultural community, aiming to make farming in Ireland more sustainable and profitable.

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