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Stackyard News Oct 06

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Suffolks open flock book

New genetic traits and non registered Suffolks will be eligible for inclusion in the Suffolk Sheep Society’s register it has been announced this week. The move represents the continuing policy of the Society to meet the economic and management requirements of commercial lamb producers.

Suffolk Sheep entering a new era
Suffolk Ram Lambs

“The Society and its breeders will continue to provide the commercial sheep farmer with tools to generate a more profitable livelihood in the subsidy free post SFP (Single Farm Payment) era,” says the Society’s commercial director, Robyn Hulme.

He continues: “This means we are obliged to provide the very best genetic resources available in the sheep industry wherever they come from. In practical terms this means that if we can identify and source particular genetic markers, which will be of benefit to our customers, then members of the Suffolk Sheep Society will be able to incorporate these genetic traits into the Suffolk breed.

“Such genetics will compliment the Suffolks exceptionally high growth rates and ability to produce economic benefits under different management systems. However we are aware that in the future the commercial producer is going to need much more than pure performance.”

Mr Hulme identified the Society’s highly successful response to scrapie resistance, resulting in the breed now being more than 95% resistant to scrapie, as a sign of how quickly Suffolk breeders respond to market needs.

Introgression will be accommodated with a new supplementary register which will allow the introduction of new traits into the breed. The entry into this section must be a minimum of 50% Suffolk, i.e. either the sire or the dam must be a pedigree Suffolk.
Seven-eighths will be viewed as pure in accordance with EU legislation and therefore eligible into the main flock book.

In the case of unregistered Suffolk flocks, once an individual flock has been inspected the progeny of a registered ram out of the inspected flock will be eligible for entry into the main section of the flock book and considered pedigree Suffolk.

Says Mr Hulme: “We believe that the benefits which the Society offers to its members, especially by offering access to the new recording scheme will be very attractive to flock owners who have not previously belonged to the Society. We also regard the skills that these flock owners possess and the genetic diversity of these flocks will be of great benefit to the Suffolk breed and ultimately the UK sheep industry.”

link New Suffolk recording scheme launched
link Defending champions rule at Skipton gimmer lambs show
link Skipton Multi-Breeds Sheep Show Success

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