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Minister Heydon launches new Livestock Simulators

Minister Heydon launches new Livestock Simulators


Today, at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon, announced the launch of 11 calving simulators and 11 injecting simulators for use in Teagasc agricultural colleges and research and innovation centres.


Demonstration models of the new simulators are on display at the Teagasc stand at the National Ploughing Championships.


Speaking from the Teagasc stand, Minister of State Heydon said: “Almost one in five farm fatalities on Irish farms over the past decade involved livestock while livestock also account for over half of all non-fatal incidents. These simulators will provide students with a safe environment in which to develop their livestock handling skills before progressing to working with live animals.”


Minister Heydon added: “It is important that the next generation of farmers have the necessary skills in calving cows and injecting cattle to perform these tasks safely. I am delighted to fund this investment in simulators that will greatly expand the capacity of Teagasc to provide enhanced training in these vital livestock husbandry skills. It will build on the investment I made in farm machinery simulators for agricultural colleges last year.”


The livestock simulators will be available to students completing courses at the agricultural colleges and livestock research and innovation centres, and also to students at universities and technological universities who use these facilities for practical learning.


Dr Anne Marie Butler, Teagasc Head of Education stated that about 4,200 full and part-time students and a further 1,380 students in higher education undertake practical training at agricultural colleges and centres. An estimated 85% of these students come from livestock farms, indicating the relevance of access to the bovine simulators. The Bovine simulators will also be available to farmer groups who wish to expand their skill base related to cow-calving and injection skills.