Texel Leads on Performance Recording

The Texel Sheep Society and AHDB Signet Breeding Services have struck a new agreement with regards the provision of performance recording to Texel Society members.

While, initially, this will mean little change to performance recording flocks, over the next 8-12 months it will allow the Society to deliver a more streamlined, improved service to members and all those with an interest in performance recording for the longer term.

Explaining the changes breed development chairman Peter Mitchell said that this change in service delivery follows a review of breed development activity by the Society, which included a consultancy project with NZ based Abacus Bio.

For 2017 the only noticeable change for members would be a Society support payment to fully recording members of £25 +VAT on top of reductions already made by Signet.

“Current recording services for 2017 will remain unaffected, with the aim to roll out improved online data capture and wider promotional services by 2018. This will add to the research and development activity which supports the Society’s genomic technology programme which is expected to deliver new breeding values for hard to measure traits, such as disease resilience and carcass and meat quality to the membership during 2019/20.

Society chief executive John Yates added; “Breed development requires a long term commitment. This change in service delivery for recording services fits perfectly with the breed Society and our objects and aligns trait measurement and development perfectly with our large scale research and development projects.

“Over the next three years, Society-led projects will deliver £3M of investment in Industry sheep research. These projects will focus on recording hard-to-measure disease traits and validating new technology in collaboration with SRUC and ABP food group, a leading meat processor.

“Texel breeders will be the first to access new carcass grading measurement technology – Video Image Analysis (VIA) and adopt novel scoring systems for improving carcass production and managing disease traits. The aim of these projects is to create new systems and deliver the very latest in genomic estimated breeding values (gEBV’s) for these traits.

“It is expected that further work by AHDB at an Industry level, such as creating new CT-derived EBVs and access to RamCompare will further complement to the Society’s investment and breed development initiative.”

For 2017 AHDB-Signet remains the first point of technical support, with the provision and charging arrangements for ultrasound scanning remaining unchanged, said Mr Yates. “Going forward members should continue to submit recording data by their usual method and the Society encourages members to submit it online via the Society database, Basco.”

The Society will update members in due course on how to submit flock data in 2018, but from April 2018 all flock reports will be provided directly by the Society, with a dedicated individual supporting performance recording and research and development activity as part of the Society breed development strategy.