Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    The Irish cattle population structured by enterprise type: overview, trade & trends
    Background: The cattle sector is the most important economic production unit of the Irish farming and agri-food sector. Despite its relevance, there has been limited quantitative information about the structure of differing cattle production types and of the connections between them. This paper addresses this gap by providing, for the first time, an overview of the Irish cattle population structured by enterprise type. Methods & Results: We collected data from the cattle register for the period 2015 to 2019 and assigned registered herds to one of 18 different herd types using a recently published herd type classification approach. This allows, for the first time, to exploring changes in enterprise types and subtypes over time, and describing the movements between these subtypes and from these subtypes to slaughter. Conclusions: The overview and associated classification presented in this study will form the basis for a number of future comparative studies, including cross-sectoral assessments of profitability, estimation of the extent of animal health losses on Irish cattle farms or structural analysis of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions across production systems.
      257Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Understanding the dog population in the Republic of Ireland: insight from existing data sources?
    Background: Reliable information about national pet dog populations is an important contributor to informed decision-making, both by governments and national dog welfare organisations. In some countries, there is an improved understanding of aspects of the national pet dog population, but as yet limited published information is available in Ireland. The current study reviews the utility of existing data to inform our understanding of recent changes to the pet dog population in Ireland, including both biological and organisational processes. Results: Based on national data on dog licencing and microchipping registration, pet dog numbers have remained relatively stable in recent years (ie prior to the COVID-19 pandemic). Since 2015, there has been a substantial decrease in the number of dogs managed through dog control centres. Although the completeness of the data are likely variable, there appears to be substantial, and increasing, number of dogs moving from Ireland to other countries, including UK, Sweden, Italy, Germany and Singapore. We also note an increase (albeit much smaller) in the number of dogs being moved into Ireland. Conclusions: This study highlights the challenges faced when using existing national data to gain insights into the dog population of Ireland. The linking of existing national databases (individual dog identification, dog licencing, dog control statistics) has the potential to improve both the representativeness and accuracy of information about the Irish pet dog population. In the next phases of our work, we will focus on the work of dog welfare organisations, given both the increased role played by these organisations and the substantial public funding that has been committed in this sector.
      325Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Stakeholder perceptions of non-regulatory bovine health issues in Ireland: past and future perspectives
    In recent years, there have been multiple (political, environmental, cultural) drivers of change in Irish agriculture, including the establishment of Animal Health Ireland (AHI) in 2009, to provide leadership of non-regulatory livestock health issues (diseases and conditions of livestock that are endemic in Ireland but which are not currently subject to international legislation). In this study, we describe the opinion of stakeholders (farmers, veterinary practitioners and agricultural industry professional service providers), elicited by means of a survey, on their perceptions of changes in selected non-regulatory bovine health issues over the last 10 years and priority issues relevant to non-regulatory bovine health to be tackled over the next 10 years. Results: A total of 673 individuals participated in the online questionnaire. For the majority of the non-regulatory bovine health issues, most participants felt there had been improvements over the last 10 years. However, professional service providers were generally more conservative in their response to improvements on-farm compared to farmers. Several issues, particularly BVD and udder health/milk quality, were viewed more positively by all relevant respondents. There was reasonable agreement between responses from different respondent types and sectors regarding the top three priorities relevant to non-regulatory bovine animal health for the next 10 years in Ireland, which included antimicrobial resistance (highlighting measures to reduce both on-farm usage and resistance), anthelmintic resistance, greenhouse emissions and calf welfare. Conclusions: The results are encouraging, demonstrating a perception of improvement in a number of non-regulatory bovine health issues in Ireland over the last ten years. With respect to the next 10 years, stakeholders prioritised antimicrobial and anthelmintic resistance, greenhouse gas emissions and calf welfare, which aligns closely with broader societal concerns. This information is useful to AHI, particularly with respect to future priorities. However, these concerns are broad in scope and will require further considerations, including collaborations, between AHI and partnering organisations. Given that there were differences between farmers and professional service providers in responses, it is useful to consider how the aims and the benefits of future AHI programmes are framed and communicated to all stakeholders.
      288Scopus© Citations 5