01 March 2015 | Online since 2003



New project will deliver bTB-resistant breeding for dairy cows


Dairy farmers will be able to genetically select for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) resistance within two years, due to a new joint research project funded by DairyCo and implemented by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) and Edinburgh University's Roslin Institute.

Bovine TB affects cattle across the UK and is often associated with infected wildlife, such as badgers. Over the next 18 months, a new trait will be developed using the work from Defra-funded research, which will rank bulls for their resistance to bTB.

DairyCo's head of genetics Marco Winters said this was a welcome development for the industry, but it would be just one useful weapon in the armoury and not a complete solution to the problem.

"The good news is we will be able to identify those animals carrying a degree of resistance; however, it's important to recognise that as yet, we have no way of knowing how many there will be come the end of the project or whether these will be animals the farmer wants to breed from because of other criteria he or she is aiming for," he says.

"We must also remember this is a long term initiative - we won't be able to select bulls with resistant genes until April 2015, then their daughters will be entering the milking herd in 2018 at the earliest. While the trait for bTB resistance is predicted to be moderately heritable, once it is introduced it will take a quite a few years before any effect on disease incidence is seen. However, despite these notes of caution, this is a very positive step in the right direction."

SRUC already provides genetic evaluations for UK dairy cattle on behalf of DairyCo through its EGENES service.

Professor Georgios Banos, who is leading this new project at SRUC, says this pedigree and performance data combined with national bTB test results will feed into the model to rank cattle for their genetic resistance to bTB.

"This will help us create the most appropriate model to assess the genetic merit of individual animals for bTB resistance," he explains. "Based on this, the best animals will be available for selection to breed improved resistance to bTB into the next generation.

"Although it's early days, it's particularly good news for farmers in regions where bTB is most common. In the future they will be able to include this trait when they are making selection and mating decisions.

"Dairy farmers are already selectively breeding animals for traits such as better fertility, improved fitness and longer lifespans, as well as milk yield and quality; adding this new trait into the mix will further help their overall progress in achieving a profitable and sustainable outcome from their breeding programme," Prof Banos says.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


19 February 2015
Carvery Chef
Grove Farm in a new and exiting business that is growing week by week. We require an experienced, committed Carvery chef to j...

18 February 2015
Sales Manager : Tyres (Farming & Agriculture)
Tyres (Farming & Agriculture). Ideally a qualification within agriculture or time served. Global leader within the tyre i...

17 February 2015
Hygiene Operative
Please see our website for full details and application form.Gables Farm Dogs' and Cats' Home (registered charity number 1127...

24 February 2015
Farm Hand
Adhere to all Farm Health and Safety rules and procedures. Clean and disinfect equipment and vehicles used in moving birds, s...

17 February 2015
Telecoms Analyst
My client is the UK market leader in LPG - with over 77 years of experience across a wide variety of markets such as heating,...




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...