LIMOUSIN CATTLE breeders and council members are calling for a ‘clean up’ or ‘cover up’ vote on their breed society’s actions following yet more claims of wrong birth dates, pedigrees, estimated breeding values and mismanagement of breeders’ monies.

More than two years after questions arose surrounding the pedigree of the Limousin bull, Ballinloan Jaegerbomb, The Scottish Farmer understands that other bulls had been sold prior to that date with false pedigrees.

It has also been claimed that the British Limousin Cattle Society was already aware of dubious pedigrees at Ballinloan, having taken DNA samples in 2013 and 2018 which, in turn, were never processed. As such, the society is being accused of a ‘cover up’ with special favours for certain members – though it has robustly defended its actions.

The society’s critics also suggested that some staff had been ‘bending the rules’, with imported bulls emerging with ‘fictional’ EBVs, despite being only weighed at birth. They noted a particular French bull that appeared with impressive figures which went against normal practice, as bulls from France always come with below average figures until they prove themselves in this country.

Fear of reprisal is making both council and ordinary members afraid to speak publicly of these concerns too, with several who have already voiced their opinions claiming that they were then subjected to paperwork inspections going back as far as 10 years, or disciplinary action.

“We need an independent website where members can vote for a ‘clean up’ or ‘cover up’ society,” said Ian Handley – the buyer of Ballinloan Jaegerbomb – who remains disgusted with the BLCS. “Why did they allow Jaegerbomb and his progeny to be sold when just shy of 30 DNA samples were taken from Ballinloan cattle in November, 2013 and January, 2018, yet were never processed by the society and why will the society not give me the DNA analysis of Jaegerbomb’s so-called dam, Ballinloan Geneva?”

Mr Handley added that other paperwork, including that of Ballinloan Inch, another bull sold with an incorrect pedigree, had been removed prior to the police investigation.

“Someone has to be accountable for this. They knew the situation at Ballinloan and could have prevented the sale of Jaegerbomb and his progeny, and the sorry mess the Limousin society finds itself in today.

“My lawyer told me to contact BCMS and Trading Standards for legal advice when I knew the birthdate of Jaegerbomb was wrong, so why didn’t they, the British Limousin Cattle Society, do the same?

“The BLCS is a laughing stock, with it’s estimated breeding values better known as ‘estimated bullshit value’’,” he claimed. “It has lost all credibility not just in this country but also overseas.

“This is a wake up call to the membership – if they want to steer this ship in the right direction they need to vote for a clean up because an innocent member could still buy a bull with a false birthdate, pedigree and EBV.

“I have had to face financial and emotional ruin over this with years of sleepless nights and that could still happen to anyone buying a Limousin bull – this is why we need a clean-up or cover-up vote.”

Commenting on the situation, its chairman, Michael Cursiter, insisted the society was continuing to work hard to resolve the ongoing problems – and completely disagreed that the society was ‘covering up’ any issues.

He also pointed out that as part of many changes, from September the herd inspection committee would be made up of part council and part members and that he was unaware of any victimisation.

Mr Cursiter said that Trading Standards would not allow the society to give out full details of Ballinloan Geneva and as for the missing DNA analysis, he said: “The first lot of DNA analysis was allegedly lost but was later found and I’m confident that they were OK, and the second lot is part of the ongoing Ballinloan court case, which I cannot discuss.”

Interestingly, The Scottish Farmer understands that a second herd inspection was done in January, 2018, by Stuart Renton with assistance of former chairman, Peter Henshall, that included taking hair samples from 20 requested Ballinloan cows and heifers – of which six to eight had no ear tags in them.

In the BLCS’s last financial year, it made a loss of £300,000 and is expected to make another ‘substantial loss’ when the accounts are published in June, although Mr Cursiter said he was hopeful for break-even end of year figures by December, 2020.