THE Northern Ireland Dorset Club held it 61st AGM earlier this year in the Holiday Inn Express, Antrim.
Chairman Allister McNeill opened the meeting by welcoming members and guests. This was followed by Secretary, Treasurer and Chair-man’s reports.
Delivered by William Carson and Allister McNeill, they reflected on the successful year the club and breed has had, with popularity constantly on the increase.
Following the election of com-mittee and office bearers, Mr McNeill was re-elected as chairman and Steven Lyons as Vice Chairman. Office bearers and committee members are as follows:
Chairman: Allister McNeill;
Vice Chairman: Steven Lyons;
Secretary: William Carson;
Treasurer: William Carson;
Breed Promotion: Ellen McClure;
Website Co-ordinator: Amanda
Committee Members – Graham Cu-bitt, Mary Cubitt, Samuel Caldwell, Seamus Mullan, Amy McConnell, Katie Johnston, Thomas Wright, Ben Lamb, James Robson and Glen Miller.
Following on from the success of the National Dorset AGM, hosted by the NI club, proceeds from the auction and raffle were presented to the two chosen charities. Mrs Rosemary Moore from the NI Children’s Hospice and Mrs Valerie Cubitt from Clic Sargent collected the tremendous total raised. Both charities are very worthwhile causes bringing much needed support to young people in our local communities.
Guest speaker for the evening was Patrick Grant MRCVS, who runs The Sheep Vet specialising in advanced sheep fertility services, including embryo transfer and AI and OPA scanning, something which many breeders have an interest in or are actively involved in. Patrick comes from a sheep farming background in Kilcoo, County Down. Situated in the heart of the Mournes, Patrick and family run 800 ewes comprising mainly of Lanark type Scottish Blackface and pedigree Suffolk ewes.
Patrick covered nutritional man-agement of ewes at critical times whilst specifically addressing the Dorset breed and its unique ability to breed at any time of the year.
Much of the talk was breeder focused in a ‘Q&A’ style approach which led down the pathways of lameness, specific vitamins and minerals, sponging of sheep and abortion, all of which Patrick linked back to his abundance of experience both on farm and as a vet.
Patrick finished by informing members of his unique OPA (Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma) scan-
Caused by the contagious Jaa-gsiekte sheep retrovirus, it infects the lungs causing tumours to form.
The effect of such disease is loss of body condition/production, diff-iculty breathing and often nasal discharge.
Diagnosis of this disease is fatal, accounting for 1-20 per cent of mortality in infected flocks each year. Patrick stressed that through scanning affected sheep can be identified and culled to prevent further spread and also reduce mortality rates, which ultimately benefits the farmer financially.
The Northern Ireland Dorset Club would like to extend its thanks
to Patrick for sharing his wealth
of knowledge with breeders and
to the respective charities for
their attendance and informative talks.