Irish farmers are being encouraged to breed high Economic Breeding Index (EBI) cows, completely distinct from O-Bee Manfred Justice (Oman).
This comes in response to concerns over inbreeding, as Oman’s sons continue to dominate bull proofs.
Although inbreeding is not a major problem at present because Oman is a complete outcross, we are keeping an eye to the future, explained Sinead McParland, geneticist at Moorepark Research Centre, County Cork.
Speaking to Farmers Weekly, Dr Parland said Oman was not being excluded altogether, but steps were being taken to ensure good, non-Oman blood lines were available.
As part of Gene Ireland and in association with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF), breeding information collated by ICBF has been analysed to identify animals completely distinct from Oman.
“The aim is to encourage dairy producers to breed their high quality cows with high quality bulls, not related to Oman to ensure good genetics are available in the future,” she said.