Putting Ireland at the cutting edge of animal health 

Founders of Micron Agritech meet EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
Putting Ireland at the cutting edge of animal health 

Daniel Izquierdo, Tara McElligott, Sean Smith and Jose Lopez, the Micron Agritech team behind the multi-award-winning Tástáil kit which allows farmers to quickly test their animals for parasites. File Picture. 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and An Taoiseach Micheál Martin were introduced to one of the most interesting Irish new products for agriculture when they recently visited the Technological University Dublin.

In Ireland to endorse a positive assessment of Ireland's recovery and resilience plan, the European Commission team and Government leaders visited the TUD campus at Grangegorman and inspected a number of the projects there.

They were introduced to Sean Smith and Tara McElligott, two founders of Micron Agritech, a TU Dublin Hothouse spin-out set to revolutionise animal health testing.

Micron Agritech uses digital technology to tackle common animal health problems.

Its first product, Micron Kit, is a rapid, on-site parasite detection test. The company has been working over the past 18 months to validate their technology and are poised to start selling it in 2022.

Tara McElligott and Sean Smith of Micron Agritech talking to An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen about their innovative Micron Kit a rapid, on-site cattle parasite detection test.
Tara McElligott and Sean Smith of Micron Agritech talking to An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen about their innovative Micron Kit a rapid, on-site cattle parasite detection test.

The team behind it were thrilled when Commission President von der Leyen said it was one of the most interesting technologies the President saw at TUD.

It is being tested on a number of farms around the country. 

In June, Micron Agritech invited Beef and Dairy Farmers to contact them to avail of free dung testing by taking part in the Micron Kit instant worm test.

Farmers that had not used any wormers or drenches on their cattle this year, or farmers who have a worm/fluke history on the farm were specifically invited to take part in tests of the automated, rapid, on-site, worm test.

After individual dung samples are taken from their herds and tested by an Irish accredited lab, the farmers will then receive a results report which they can share with their vet, for advice.

Parasites

The Micron Kit allows farmers or vets to rapidly detect parasitic infections in cattle. 

Samples are analysed via the Micron app through a revolutionary machine learning process. 

This saves time and reduces spending on medication.

It analyses dung samples in under 10 minutes and gives rapid results.

There is a high chance the cattle do not have a gut-worm infection, in which case test results save money for the farmer, thanks to better-informed dosing decisions.

Target dosing

Micron Kit allows for target dosing to ensure the correct wormers are used, avoiding resistance build-up.

Tara McElligott and Sean Smith of Micron Agritech team said the EU Commission President and An Taoiseach were very interested in how Micron Kit can help the European agriculture industry adjust to the incoming anthelmintic legislation, which stipulates that antiparasitic medicines will require a veterinary prescription in 2022.

They spoke with Commissioner McGuinness about how Micron Kit can help reduce resistance to medication on farms with targeted dosing.

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