Progress to date:
Over the past year ICBF has been asking farmers to report on farm health and disease events and the response has been very good between those who have recorded on ICBF.com and through their farm software. This information is becoming invaluable while we work on a health index to breed healthier cattle. The next step for ICBF will be designing web screens so that farmers can record treatments and remedies, but we are not quite there yet.
One of the many things we have done this year is that we’ve made the ICBF website more mobile friendly. This means if you have mobile signal throughout your farm, you can record health and disease data as soon as you see it.
Looking back on 2014, a few diseases had a very high incidence with some animals becoming infected more than once during the year.
Looking at the data that has been coming in, we’ve become interested in the “Unknown/none of the above” entries by farmers. Currently we have over 350 records of animals with “Unknown/none of the above”. We’re now wondering whether we’re missing something. While many of the illnesses may be unknown, many more may just not be a choice in the recording systems. Such was the case for photosensitization which was highlighted in the “Vet’s corner” in the Irish Farmers Journal on June 16th. Currently, we are working on getting this added to recording screens so we can begin to look for a genetic link and identify if fluke infections cause a higher incidence as the vet, Tommy Heffernan, hypothesized. Identification of this disease as an addition to our list was a result of ICBF asking a group of farmers who enrolled in a pilot program last year to give feedback.
If there is a health event that is not on the current list (click here to see the current list) occurring on your farm and you’d like to be able to record it, we would like to know about it. Please e-mail events that you would like to record to [email protected]. We would like to know about these events as soon as possible so that we can begin to add to the current list of events.
When emailing these events, please include the animal number and your name along with the event so that we can make sure we don’t duplicate entries into the list.
You can also record your health events through your farm software, just be sure to share it with ICBF and remember to email [email protected] if you would like to include further events on the health listing.
As always, thank you for your help and participation in this. Only through communication with our farmers can we improve!