A PROMINENT Angus stud in Australia has been ordered to pay out more than $200,000 after a court found it had misrepresented the sire of a bull.

The New South Wales District Court ruled that Wagga Wagga-based stud, Irelands Angus, sold a bull, Irelands Kelleher K34, for $18,000 to Bongono Angus in August 2015, only for it to be discovered the bull’s sire was not the one noted in the sale catalogue.

Irelands Angus, which is owned and operated by Corey and Prue Ireland, was ordered to pay $200,191.88 to Bongono for the error.

District Court judge Margaret Sidis said the bull was listed as the progeny of sire Granite Ridge Thomas F223 — a bull purchased by Irelands in 2012 for $14,000 — and Irelands Lowan B107. DNA testing after the sale established that Granite Ridge Thomas was not, in fact, the sire of K34.

Two separate rounds of DNA testing were conducted – one from a sample taken by Bongongo, and another from a sample of tail hair taken by Corey Ireland from a calf said to be K34 at the time of vaccination in May 2014. Evidence presented to the court showed both profiles were 'completely different, therefore the two samples submitted are not from the same animal', although both samples confirmed B107 as the dam.

Evidence given by Angus Australia chief executive Peter Parnell suggested that, since verification had been unsuccessful, neither K34 or his progeny were eligible for herd book registration, and had mistakenly remained on the database.

“There was no dispute between the parties concerning any of this material,” the judge said. “It compelled a finding that the catalogue contained a representation that was wrong.”

Judge Sidis said William Graham, of Bongono, acknowledged “errors at times were made in breeders’ record keeping and in information provided to the Angus society for the purposes of registration of cattle”.

“Inaccuracies in (Mr Graham’s) own records were put to him and acknowledged. It was apparent from Mr Parnell’s evidence that the Angus society’s registers were not error free.”

The judge said Mr Ireland was confident the records he maintained of his breeding stock were “accurate and in good order”.

The court was shown an extract of the Ireland’s joining book. Judge Sidis said that it "recorded that B107 was included in those pastured with Granite Ridge Thomas and was tested as pregnant following that pasturing".

“Mr Ireland’s evidence was that any breach of that fencing by an intruding bull would have been noted in the joining book and he recalled no unusual circumstances. Mr Ireland was unable to explain how the error in relation to K34 occurred,” Judge Sidis said.

In her findings, Judge Sidis said “there was no dishonest conduct on the part of (Irelands) in making the false representation. Both (Mr Graham) and (Irelands) entered into the transaction in good faith in the understanding that K34 was sired by Granite Ridge Thomas.

“The auction catalogue misrepresented that Granite Ridge Thomas sired the bull sold as K34. The representation was false and misleading and it misled the plaintiff.”