Irish bulls making a 11,000km trip to Rwanda to assist in their breeding program - Cowsmo

Irish bulls making a 11,000km trip to Rwanda to assist in their breeding program

The Rwandan government has purchased four Irish pedigree bulls to boost their breeding programme.

The charity Bóthar says the four dairy bulls, sourced from Dovea Genetics in Co Tipperary, will make the 11,000km trip on Thursday.

Dovea Genetics specialise in bovine artificial insemination, and are suppliers of dairy and beef semen.

The two Holstein-Friesian and two Jersey bulls have been named Connacht, Laighean, Mumha and Uladh – after the four Irish provinces.

Rwanda is a nation slightly larger than Munster, but with a population of 12.2 million people.

The initiative is part of the Rwandan government’s ‘One Cow Per Family’ programme, aimed at reducing extreme rural poverty by providing families with a cow.

The ‘GIRINKA’ programme, as it is known, has reduced rates of childhood malnutrition, increased employment and provided a stable income for the country’s poorest.

Bóthar has been bringing Irish dairy cows to Rwanda for 21 years.

Its chief operating officer is Niamh Mulqueen.

“It was certainly a surprise call. We’ve been working in Rwanda for the past 21 years and have built up a fantastic relationship with the government but to get a call from the Rwandan government to say that they want us to buy Irish bulls for them was a new departure for sure.

“We were, however, delighted to help as the call in the first instance was a real validation of what we do out there.”

Ger Ryan, general manager of Dovea Genetics, added: “It’s a tremendous endorsement of the work that Bóthar is doing and it is wonderful to see some of our top Jersey and Holstein Friesian bulls going abroad and hopefully making an impact like they have in Ireland.

“It will elevate the quality in Rwanda of the offspring, the daughters that those bulls will produce.”



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