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
“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
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.”
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