The first export of any pedigree cattle from Northern Ireland to Switzerland has taken place in the sale of three bulls and eight heifers from the Omorga and Hiltonstown Simmental herds.

The Omorga herd of HJW and JC Moore, Omagh, Co Tyrone, have sold a bull and three heifers to Felix Tobler, Chapelle (Broye), Switzerland, with another Omorga bull and two heifers selling to Christian Bunde, Drewitz, Germany. A single Omorga heifer also sold to Mario Walther, Frankfurt, Germany.

Richard Rodgers, Portglenone, Co Antrim, has exported a bull and two heifers from the Hiltonstown herd to Felix Tobler, Switzerland.

The cattle were delivered through Andrew Ewing, Livestock Export hauliers, with the export taking five days in all including two, 24 hour stops at Dumfries, and then again in Belgium.

The interest in British Simmental was initiated through trips to the UK by Felix Tobler and his son Joel who was participating in Young Simmental Breeder stockjudging competitions. A growing interest at the same time by a German breeders group saw a combined group of some 30 breeders visit a number of Northern Irish herds in October of last year.

A smaller follow up group returned in January to identify Emphasis was placed on easy fleshed cattle that had shape, muscle, and milk combined with growth potential. There was also interest in polled cattle.

The export sale comes at a time when the society has reported a flurry of export enquiries for semen and genetics from mainland and Eastern Europe, and North America.