A group of 14 Australian Limousin breeders have been visiting Scotland and the North West of England as part of a five-day long pre-tour before moving on to Denmark for the forthcoming International Limousin Congress being held 2nd-8th July.
During their visit to the UK between 27th June & 1st July, the Australian party visited a number of noted pedigree herds, a 1000-strong commercial enterprise as well as taking part in a technical presentation at the Scottish Agricultural College. The visitors also attended the British Limousin Cattle Society (BLCS) Breeders’ Sale held at Borderway Mart on Saturday 30th June which saw top prices of 28,000gns and 27,000gns respectively.
Their first visit was to the Ronick herd of Mr R Dick, Mains of Throsk, Stirling which took in the 140-cow pedigree herd including the show team which had recently returned from the Royal Highland having taken the Reserve Female Championship. The day culminated in a visit to the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) where geneticist Kirsty Moore gave a presentation on the joint Carcase Traits Project between the BLCS, SAC & ABP to develop genomic predictions for production traits for Limousin cattle. This project closely mirrors research currently being undertaken in Australia.
The second day focused on the commercial operation of Peter Alexander, Mains of Mause, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, an extensive enterprise which carries some 1,000 Limousin-cross cows running with 35 Limousin bulls.
Day three encompassed two neighbouring pedigree herds at Blairdrummond, Stirling, namely the Spittalton prefix of A&R Burnett and the Burnbank herd of D&L Graham. The two herds number approximately 60 and 80 cows respectively.
Following the BLCS Breeders’ Sale at Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway Mart, Carlisle on the Saturday, the group spent Sunday at Messrs Ridley’s Haltcliffe herd, one of the foremost pedigree names in the UK, and winners of the BLCS National Pedigree Herd Competition held in 2011 to mark the Society’s 40th Anniversary. After spending the day at Haltcliffe, Hesket New Market, Cumbria the Australians returned to Edinburgh en route to the International Limousin Congress in Denmark.
General Manager of the Australian Limousin Breeders’ Society, Alex McDonald, commented: “Australian breeders have developed close ties with British Limousin genetics, having imported a number of embryos in recent years as well as semen through the Semenstore e-commerce site. We are also keen to work co-operatively with the BLCS using DNA to develop viable prediction equations for the Limousin breed initially for carcase traits and ultimately for the full range of commercially important traits.”