Rural Industries Section Events

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Past events

Janssen site visit

Ireland rural industries section at Janssen site visit

Ireland rural industries section at Janssen site visit

Teagasc Moorepark site visit

Rural Industries Section Ireland organised a recent event for members to ‘Teagasc Moorepark’.  This was a unique opportunity  insight into the states National Research facility.  Moorepark Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre has played a pivotal role in the development of the Irish dairy industry. Since its establishment by the Irish Government in 1959, Moorepark has evolved to become the focal point of research on milk production in Ireland. The group were greeted by the Head of Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Programme Dr. Pat Dillon. The visit was cascaded into three elements:

  1. A safety overview of the milking dept and animal handling including calving and young stock facilities
  2. Overview of the safety features in the lab
  3. Presentation on  docility in breeding

Farm manager John Paul Murphy facilitated the visit to the milking parlour. All safety features and animal handling facilities and human interaction was discussed at length. Areas viewed were animal handling in the milking facilities area, general animal handling for routine work and safety features for operatives together with safety in animal housing. One of the features was the utilisation of galvanised steel platforms which can be folded out of the way when not require. Management of occupational health hazards was also discussed.

We followed on with a visit to the Laboratory research facility where we were taken through the process of sample receipt, handling, and testing in controlled conditions. Safety matters discussed with the lab technicians included engineering solutions for safe handling/testing of samples, chemical handling and management of gases necessary for conducting tests. The management of the large student population and the very necessary safety control measures implemented including the requirement for all students to be competent in the English language.

Breeding factors and Fatalities

Our final session was a presentation on current research being undertaken at Moorepark on animal docility. Livestock associated hazards accounted for 21% of agricultural fatalities in Ireland in 2015.

Research commenced a few years ago into animal husbandry and breed selection. The outcome from collection of data from the farming community over the past number of years is indicating certain breeds can be a contributory factor and on closer research genies within the breed.  Research is continuing into identification of particular genies and co relation with the observed animal behavioural data supplied by all National livestock producers.

The data produced from the research is being used as an indicator for docility in animal breeding selection information for livestock breeders which is hoped will reduce the exposure to known aggressive animal breeds and particular traits for the future.  As safety practitioners we support this approach of looking at safety from all angles.

We wish to thank the Staff at Moorepark who made the event possible for members to interact and keep abreast of research which will have positive benefits for reducing Agricultural fatalities into the future.

Aine English (Chairperson) and Gerard Horgan, (Vice-Chair)

Teagasc Moorepark event picture

Teagasc Moorepark event picture of cow

Teagasc Moorepark event picture

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