(left to right): Professor Bill McKelvey, Chief Executive, SAC,
Drew Sloan OBE FRAgS, Managing Director, Semex and President, Holstein, UK,
Trevor Lloyd, Chairman, MDC Evaluations Ltd., Prof Geoff Simm, Group
Manager, Sustainable Livestock Systems, SAC, Dr Mike Coffey, Leader of Dairy
Cattle Breeding, Sustainable Livestock
Edinburgh Genetic Evaluation Services, a new service for
the UK livestock industry, was launched today. This joint initiative
between SAC, Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh was
established earlier this year following the award of a contract
by the Milk Development Council (MDC) to a group of scientists
from the three organisations to provide statistics on the breeding
worth of the UK's dairy bulls and cows.
With the award of a further contract by the MLC (Meat and Livestock
Commission), the Edinburgh Genetic Evaluation Services team are
now set to provide a similar service for the beef and sheep sector
by processing the records collected via MLC's Signet Breeding Services.
This new service for MLC will be rolled out in 2006. The creation
of a modern new database by BASCO Data Ltd - a collaboration between
leading sheep and beef breed societies - is central to delivery
of these new services in the sheep and beef sectors.
Drew Sloan, OBE FRAgS, Managing Director, Semex and President
of Holstein UK who launched the service said, "It has taken
several years of planning and co-operation to get to where we are
today, and we are now working together for the benefit of the whole
agricultural industry; with one unit producing genetic evaluations
for dairy, beef and sheep."
Guest speaker, Trevor Lloyd, Chairman of MDC Evaluations Ltd said, "Dairy
farmers are being driven to greater and greater efficiency, and
as such they need accurate and reliable breeding information. We
know that a bad mating costs the same as a good mating, but takes
years to rectify.
"For these reasons, we are very pleased that through the
new unit at Edinburgh we are giving our dairy farmers access to
one of the most advanced evaluations systems in the world. I am
confident that they will have the best tools available for herd
improvement, breeding cows most suited to modern-day milk production
and supplying genetics that can compete in an international market."
Also speaking at the launch, Professor Bill McKelvey, Chief Executive
of SAC, welcomed the development. He said, "SAC is pleased
to be part of this major new industry initiative. We see this as
a stepping stone which will enable the industry to take greater
control over its future and create a platform that allows it to
respond to market signals more quickly. Significantly, this is
a UK driven initiative, using UK-tailored genetic evaluation methods,
designed for UK livestock producers.
"The team, Professor Geoff Simm, Dr Mike Coffey, Dr Raphael
Mrode and Dr Huw Jones of SAC, Professor Robin Thompson and Professor
John Woolliams of Roslin Institute and Professor Bill Hill and
Dr Sue Brotherstone of Edinburgh University are to be congratulated
on their vision and hard work in establishing this service."
Home Value of EBVs
Texel Genetics To South America
sheep money invested in performance figures