The launch of a new TB resistance index for Holstein bull was launched at the British Cattle Breeders Conference.
At the British Cattle Breeders Conference in Telford this week, Marco Winter, head of genetics at AHDB Dairy, announced the launch of TB Advantage, a new TB resistance index for Holstein bulls.
The index is the culmination of months of research using more than 650,000 cow records.
It is expressed on a scale which typically runs from -3 to +3 meaning that there is thepotential for 6 per cent fewer daughters to become infected between the two extremes.
Many of the highest Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) bulls also have a good positive score forTB Advantage which Mr Winters said is unsurprising as health and fitness already represents around 68 per cent of PLI.
Mr Winters was keen to remind breeders to keep any single trait index in context, and to use it only as part of a broader breeding strategy which takes on board all of the considerations which are important to a business.
He said: “Farmers should be aware that the reliability of the TB Advantage – or its likelihood of not changing over time as more data is added – is not as high as for most other indexes.
“This reflects the fact that bovine TB is not a problem for many of the countries with which we traditionally share genetic information so we are using a smaller dataset than would be the case when assessing many other traits.”
He also pointed out the effect of using the index will be permanent and culmulative bringincreasing benefits to tackling bTB over the coming years.
For full details go to – www.dairy.ahdb.org.uk