Neogen and Angus Australia Enter Ground-Breaking Partnership

February 26, 2020 10:55 am

Neogen Australasia and Angus Australia have entered a ground-breaking partnership to support the utilisation of genomic, or DNA-based technology, within the Angus breed in Australia.

Under the partnership, Neogen has made a significant commitment to the ongoing support of the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program through the provision of genotyping services and sponsorship.

The Angus Sire Benchmarking Program is a major initiative of Angus Australia, with support from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and a range of industry partners, that is focussed on building a comprehensive phenotype and genotype database of Australian Angus animals for genomic technology validation, research and development.

Neogen’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Ms Sarah Buttsworth, highlighted Neogen’s commitment to provide Angus Australia members with modern, affordable DNA testing services.

“This commitment continues the long-term productive relationship Neogen has held with Angus Australia for many years and has delivered innovations like the Angus GS product, which is a genomic product built specifically for the Angus breed and available exclusively in Australia via Angus Australia,” Ms Buttsworth said.

“The program of activities under our new agreement will ensure that Australian Angus breeders can extract maximum value from their investment in genomic technology, which in turn will further accelerate the considerable genetic improvement that is already being achieved within the Angus breed.”

The Angus breed is leading the utilisation of genomic technologies in the Australian beef industry, with the Angus seedstock industry collectively investing over A$2 million in genomic testing during 2019.

“The value that Angus breeders extract from this investment in genomic technology is dependent on the existence of a large, well-recorded population of Angus animals with both genomic and performance information collected in Australian production systems,” Angus Australia’s Breed Development & Extension Manager Andrew Byrne said.

The Angus Sire Benchmarking Program is currently in its eleventh year of operation and has produced approximately 9,000 progeny from over 400 sires.

“All progeny in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program are genotyped, and have comprehensive performance information collected from conception through to slaughter in the case of male progeny, and from conception to the weaning of their first calf in the case of female progeny,” Mr Byrne said.

In addition to routine traits such as weight and carcase performance, progeny are now assessed for an increasing number of new or novel traits, such as immune competence, heat tolerance and feed efficiency.

The partnership with Neogen will greatly assist Angus Australia, in collaboration with their industry partners, to conduct the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program on a long-term sustainable basis, ensuring Australian Angus breeders can continue to obtain maximum benefit from genomic technology into the future.

For further information please contact Angus Australia Breed Development and Extension Manager Andrew Byrne at andrew@angusaustralia.com.au or on (02) 6773 4618.

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