There is no “one size fits all” strategy for managing genetic conditions. Before embarking on a management strategy producers should consider:
Generally, the management of genetic conditions can be broken into two components.
In simple terms, the incidence of animals affected by the genetic condition can be managed by avoiding mating carrier cows to a carrier bull. This may be relatively easy to manage in seedstock herds, but can be extremely difficult in commercial herds where limited pedigree records are kept. For this reason it is recommended commercial herds, or seedstock herds that have conducted minimal testing should only use bulls that are tested free or expected to be free by inheritance.
The genetic condition status of all registered animals can viewed from Angus Database Search and is displayed on Angus Australia registration certificates.
Managing the frequency of carrier animals is important in seedstock operations. Where available, the use of DNA testing to determine if an animal is either free or a carrier for a genetic condition broadens the options for breeders looking to manage or eradicate the mutation. Angus Australia runs a weekly gene probability analysis for the 4 major genetic conditions (AM, CA, DD and NH), to calculate the risk of particular untested individuals being carriers. The results of this analysis are displayed for each animal on the Angus Database Search facility, while PDF reports and .CSV files containing results for each individual Angus Australia member, are made available through Angus ONLINE.
Seedstock breeders should carefully consider and develop a management strategy that will be used to manage each genetic condition. Some examples of management strategies are as follows:
In all situations, if carrier animals are sold, full disclosure of their genetic condition status should be provided.
Angus Australia acknowledges the funds provided by the Australian Government through the Meat & Livestock Australia Donor Company (MDC).
This resource was created as a result of a collaboration between Angus Australia and Meat & Livestock Australia Donor Company (MDC) (Project P.PSH.1063).