- ICBF has introduced selection procedures to ensure that breeders of the best quality bulls are given the opportunity to enter their animals into Tully. As a result of this procedural change, eligibility criteria have been introduced based on animal age, €urostar figures for both Suckler beef values and Milk and Fertility and pedigree using information made available from the ICBF beef animal cattle-breeding database.
- The number of animals targeted for selection is generally between 1500 and 2000 bulls per intake. €urostar requirments are generally five star for Suckler Beef Value and 3 star or more for Milk and Fertility. These requirements apply to all breeds, however some bulls may be accepted based on age and pedigree alone.
- The application process involves inspecting and accepting more bulls than Tully can actually house. The reason for this is that we have to allow for those animals and herds that fail to meet the entry criteria. There is no way of knowing how many will fail until such a time that the test results are complete. With this in mind, ICBF aims to give all breeders who have successfully past inspection and health testing, an equal opportunity to have a bull performance tested.
Step 1. Breeders receive notification, including an application form, by mail if they have animal(s) that are eligible for entry to Tully. These eligible bulls are selected based on their €urostars and are in the top of their respective breed for both Suckler Beef Value (SBV) and Milk and Fertility (M & F).
Step 2. Breeders who wish to apply send application forms to Tully, at which time an inspection of the bulls by ICBF inspectors begins. This involves a linear scorer calling to the farm to inspect the bull for muscular, skeletal and functionality traits.
Step 3.Breeders who own bulls that have passed inspection are notified by mail of this. Notification of on-farm health testing is then sent to the breeder and Veterinary surgeon and includes instructions on veterinarian testing required (Private Veterinary Practitioner instructions), a PVP form, a Johne’s declaration cert, a letter informing the breeder of the protocol, and the tag numbers of animals that require blood samples. Blood samples taken by the local vet (as opposed to a DVO vet) for EBL, Johne’s, BVD and IBR are sent to Backweston for testing.
Step 4. Once the health tests (TB, Brucellosis, EBL, Johne’s, BVD, and IBR) have been passed (negative) the veterinarian fills out the BPT2 PVP, and the breeder is required to take the BPT2 (DVO) form to his/her DVO for completion.
Step 5. At this point the breeder may bring his/her bull(s) to Tully along with the animals’ passport/cattle ID, CMMS movement permit, PVP and DVO forms completed and signed, and a €600 test fee. Once at the Test Station the breeder is required to fill out and sign a Bull Agreement.
Step 6. All bulls will then enter a pre-entry isolation centre on a 30 day Tuberculosis and Brucellosis test which will be carried out by a Veterinary Inspector from the local D.V.O. of the Department of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development. Prior to leaving their home farm all bulls will be allocated an IBR risk status by ICBF based on an assessment of the probability that the bull is a latent carrier of IBR or will become infected with IBR prior to entry to the relevant pre-entry isolation unit. The determination of risk status will be based primarily on the results of IBR testing of the bull’s cohorts and their vaccination history. There will be at least three IBR risk status; A – lowest risk, B – medium risk and C – higher risk. Bulls will be allocated one of these three risk categories and the bull owner notified accordingly. All bulls failing any health test during pre-entry isolation will be returned to bull owners. Where one or more bulls fail an IBR test at pre-entry isolation all bulls in the same risk group will continue their test or may be returned at ICBF discretion depending on the best practice advice from the Tully health advisors. The test fees paid will be refunded for any bull returned to its owner as a result of failing the pre-entry isolation disease testing. Bulls passing pre-entry isolation disease testing will be moved by ICBF to the Tully performance test centre where they will continue their performance test which is approximately 90 days and includes five weightings.