Surecalf attracts the buyers at sale

Admiring two of Richard McGinley's Surecalves are Patrick MacFarlane, left, Zoetis and Sam McNabney, right, Ballymena Mart
Admiring two of Richard McGinley's Surecalves are Patrick MacFarlane, left, Zoetis and Sam McNabney, right, Ballymena Mart

A group of 17 young animals under the Surecalf scheme, entered by Richard McGinley, Ballymoney, topped the “bullocks up to 300kg” section at the first show and sale of suckled calves at Ballymena Mart reaching an average of 299 pence per kilo.

Leading this section of the sale was a 240 kilo animal which realised 358 pence per kilo selling for £860.

Overall the 17 calves entered averaged 273 kilos at 299 pence per kilo.

They were all April/May born Charolais calves from Richard’s British Blue cross cows and sired by one of the two Charolais bulls on the farm.

To qualify for Surecalf status the calves were vaccinated pre-sale and this process was registered on the SureCalf Helpline enabling Richard to receive blue ear tags and certificates to assure buyers of his compliance with the SureCalf programme.

The interesting aspect was that many of the same buyers who purchased these accredited calves from Richard McGinley’s herd last year were keen to obtain them again this year.

One buyer commented: “These are well grown, healthy young calves for their age, and after last year’s experience, the fact that they have been through the Surecalf programme, ensures that the travel and visit to the mart means minimum stress for them.”

Richard McGinley added: “Participating in the Surecalf program last year ensured a steady trade for my calves and good reports from the buyers so I decided to continue the program this year.

“When you put the effort into breeding, rearing and managing the calves for sale, you want to ensure that the buyers will be satisfied with their purchase.”

SureCalf® Duo is ideal for calves sold in the autumn prior to their first winter housing period.

Calves are vaccinated pre-sale against the three key respiratory viruses, BRSv, Pi3v and IBR.

Sellers register their calves at least two weeks prior to sale by calling the SureCalf Helpline on 0800 668 1886.

The information required are the dates of birth of the calves, numbers being sold, the date of vaccination and the batch number of the vaccines used, plus the name of their veterinary practice.

They will then receive personalised SureCalf certificates, with these details.

On the day of sale the seller provides the buyer with this signed certificate showing compliance with the SureCalf programme.

The seller will also receive blue ear tags which can be inserted in the calf’s ear and cards for the calf pens, thus identifying the vaccinated calves for the buyers.

For further information on the SureCalf programme, marts and farmers should visit the website –

For further information please see the product SPC, or contact your veterinary surgeon or Zoetis UK Ltd, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7NS. Customer Support 0845 3008034.

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