CIEL investment has supported the development of TB Advantage, a genetic index published by AHDB Dairy to help dairy farmers make informed decisions around the breeding of cows which have an improved resistance to bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
The index follows extensive research into the genetics of bTB, undertaken jointly by the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute and SRUC. Their work showed genetic variation between animals and formed the basis of TB Advantage, the first genetic index of its kind in the world.
Using data on over 650,000 Holstein cows who have bTB data recorded by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), breeding patterns were established and more resistant bloodlines identified. CIEL’s support has enriched the data set of this state-of-the-art genomic prediction tool by enabling more cattle to be genotyped and included in the data asset. TB Advantage can be used as part of a range of important genetic traits to form a balanced breeding plan for the herd.
Helping dairy farmers make informed decisions to breed cows with improved resistance to bTB. A herd’s strengths are maintained and weaknesses improved, reducing both infected and infectious animals on farm. Designed to be used in addition to current eradication policies already in place, the decision to breed for improved resistance in a herd is a permanent benefit which accumulates with each new generation.
Supporting the Grand Challenges facing livestock food production:
Endemic Disease Reduction
Health & Welfare Management