Survey to look at cow temperament

Farmer funded research body AgriSearch would like to invite all cattle farmers to take part in a survey for a research project called ‘TemperGene’.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 12:51 pm

The project is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and AgriSearch

Recent statistics, published by the Health and Safety Executive NI (HSENI), show that more than a quarter of fatalities occurring on farms in the last 20 years have involved cattle. The industry has highlighted the importance of addressing health and safety concerns on livestock farms and a multi-faceted approach is required. Investigating the potential role that livestock genetics could play in improving farm safety is one avenue that is being explored.

The “TemperGene” project being conducted by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), aims to investigate the effect of genetics and environment on cattle temperament. It will also determine the potential for genetic selection of desirable behavioural characteristics to improve health and safety on farm, as well as other favourable production traits.

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Together with valuable contributions from key stakeholders in the livestock industry AFBI have designed a survey targeted at all cattle farmers across Northern Ireland. The aim of this survey is to capture the number and severity of “near-misses” which may not have been recorded in the HSENI statistics during the last year. It will also examine farmers’ decisions regarding cattle breeding and management to improve health and safety on farm. Delivery of the survey will be facilitated by AgriSearch.

With questions specific to suckler, dairy and bull-beef farmers, the survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. It is available to complete by online submission at, or alternatively can be completed via telephone by calling 07742485321 during office hours (9am-5pm). Any data provided will be managed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and treated anonymously and confidentially.