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Weekly Update: 17/04/2015

CIOC 2015 – Carrefour International Ovin/Caprin (International forum on sheep and goats)

This event took place in Toulouse, France last week on April 8th & 9th. Sheep Ireland was represented at this conference by our geneticist Thierry Pabiou. EU sheep regulations, genomics and international exchange of genetic evaluation data were among the main topics of discussion from a Sheep Ireland point of view.

Thierry presented the Irish sheep breed improvement programme to delegates as did speakers from France, Morocco, Italy and Hungary. The role that genomics is now playing in the French sheep industry mainly centred on dairy, which is currently not hugely relevant to the Irish industry. The Ovigen research project impressed those in attendance. Exchange of sheep genetic evaluations was discussed with our counterparts from the Institut de l’Elevage and these discussions will hopefully lay the foundations for future collaboration. Irish breed societies interested in exchanging data with French breeders have a major role to play here also in terms of establishing links with French breed organisations. To view the full conference proceedings visit


Ovigen progress

Our flock visits continued during the week. The data being collected will be invaluable to the €uro-Stars for 2015 as will the DNA samples which will be a huge resource for all involved in the sheep industry here. On Wednesday we visited the flock of Jim and Frampton Jeffery near Midleton, Co. Cork – this was one of our most straight forward and efficient DNA collections to date thanks to the efforts of both Jim and Frampton to prepare for and accommodate the visit.

In advance of each visit it is very important that flock owners ensure their sheep inventory on the Sheep Ireland system is up to date, meaning all lambs, ewes and rams are present on the database. It is also critical that all sold/dead sheep are recorded in a timely fashion. Our Sheep Ireland technicians will seek to record data for each and every sheep within a flock. This process can be delayed significantly if a breeder’s inventory is not up to date.

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Lambing data deadline

We are another week closer to the deadline of April 30th for lambing data entry. Breeders continue to receive regular reminders by text to get all lambing information entered onto [email protected].