Following culmination of the recent four-year Carcase Traits Project we are pleased to confirm the new Limousin Carcase Trait GEBV (Genomic Breeding Value) evaluation has taken place and results have been released to owners of the animals genotyped for this purpose.
The first of their kind for the UK beef industry, GEBVs for a range of new Carcase Traits in Limousin cattle will be made available as owners publish them over the coming days. Unlike conventional EBVs, the new values are published at the request of each animal’s owner so at this early stage their availability is likely to be limited. Please note, however, that we are encouraging publication as quickly as possible and a steady flow on to the site is expected particularly as the Spring sales are fast approaching. A step-by-step guide to viewing these figures is at the foot of this email.
Already established in other livestock sectors, GEBVs herald an exciting new era in evaluating the genetics of Limousin-bred beef cattle. They are estimates of genetic merit using truly new and independent sources of information; visual image analysis (VIA) records on individual carcase cuts from selected ABP abattoirs and information from a vast pool of Limousin DNA combine to produce breeding values that indicate an individual animal’s strengths and weaknesses for each trait.
The use of VIA technology in ABP’s abattoirs has identified significant differences in carcase value that are not always apparent under the EUROP grading system. Capture of this information and its use in the Limousin genetic evaluation will enable breeders to select breeding animals with high genetic merit for traits that add value to their calves. This is becoming increasingly important, particularly as processor pricing structures increasingly use VIA as a means of establishing carcase value.
The new GEBVs should be used in exactly the same way as EBVs when breeding decisions are being made by commercial and pedigree breeders alike. Albeit they have been produced in slightly different ways, they are in essence breeding values that indicate genetic merit and the way producers use them should not differ. As with the traditional EBVs, the numeric values and accuracies are shown for each GEBV, along with the familiar bar chart illustration. For additional information, it will be clear which traits are EBVs and which are GEBVs i.e. those which have been derived from on-farm measurements alone and those which have also used information from the animal’s DNA.
Says Iain Kerr, Chief Executive of the British Limousin Cattle Society “this is an important time for genetic evaluations in the beef sector in this country. The heightened benefits of genomic selection are making themselves very evident in other species and it is very encouraging that the beef sector should now have this technology available to it. Producers of Limousin-bred cattle now have even sharper tools available to them to select cattle that have the genes to supply an end market whose pricing structure is evolving to favour the animals that truly perform for the higher value cuts. Investment in such technologies is part of the Society’s 10 year Breed Improvement Strategy and provides industry with further very good reason to incorporate Limousin within their breeding programmes”
|To View Published GEBVs results:
Go to www.basco.org…
· To find a specific animal – enter its name or ear number in the Quick Search box
· To view animals in a specific herd – click ‘Beef Search’ on the top menu then ‘Breeder Search’ and type in your search words (name, herd name, region etc). Select the herd you wish to view then the animal group within it, then ‘Show’.
· To find animals meeting your breeding value criteria – click ‘Beef Search’ on the top menu then ‘EBV Search’ and select the criteria you require. Then click the ‘Search’ button.
For further information, explanatory leaflets are available on the Limousin website (www.limousin.co.uk, select ‘Performance Programmes’ then ‘Carcase Trait GEBVs’). Wider information can also be found at www.genesure.co.uk.