British Texels were once again one of the stars of the show at this week’s Eurotier, the largest livestock event in Europe. For the third time in succession the British Texel Sheep Society had their own section of the ‘Great British’ trade stand at Eurotier, showcasing the quality Texel genetics available from British breeders, explained British Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates. “Once again there was plenty of interest from farmers from across Europe and further afield in the availability of British Texels and the benefits the breed could offer their sheep enterprises. Results from previous exports show that British Texels perform well in a variety of systems and climates throughout the world and quickly adapt to suit local topography and feeds.”
The Society has also this year hosted a number of groups of overseas breeders at a various events, including delegations of Dutch, Belgian and French sheep farmers, while Society members also visited Switzerland and EuroTier as part of the Society’s 40th anniversary celebrations. Such is the popularity of British Texel genetics overseas that this year has seen a raft of exports take place to mainland Europe, he added.
These most recent exports come off the back of growing demand for British genetics in the last five years, with Texels having been exported worldwide, including consignments of semen sent to South America, although it is live sheep exports that are proving most popular with breeding stock exported to Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Romania and Bulgaria in recent years. Exports in the last few months have continued to these countries with a number of new export destinations including Estonia, Latvia and Italy added to the growing list of countries” said Mr Yates. “Demand for top quality British Texel genetics from Europe is exceptional and European breeders are recognising the quality in volume available here in Britain. With many of the exports this year repeat orders of rams and shearling ewes from breeders who have purchased before and have been delighted with the performance of those sheep they’ve bought.”
Mr Yates says European breeders, like their British counterparts, are looking for sheep with key commercial attributes, including length and size coupled with good skins and easy fleshing. The Texel has a reputation for knitting with native breeds exceptionally well and this is continuing to drive demand. “It is credit to the work of British breeders over the last 40 years since the first importations of Texels into the country that European Texel breeders are now turning to Britain to source new genetics. With European breeders already aware of the reliability of Texels, it’s very much like sending ‘coals to Newcastle’ when exporting to some EU destinations,” he added.
Most recently animals from the Llangwm,Hendre, Cambwell, Aman, Goldies, Kingside, Ettrick, Drinkstone, Wealden and Miserden flocks, have headed to Europe, with further exports still to be reported in detail to the Society. European demand for performance recorded pedigree Texels, with high performance genetics such Ettrick UK, a Foyle View Superstar grandson, with an Index of 420 and in the top 1% of the breed evaluations heading to Gert Dunker in Germany who identified the ram’s merits for high lean muscle yield.
Another high performance sire heading to Europe is Miserden Ustinov II. He also has an index of 420 and has been sold to Romania. Additionally, AAS1301128 with an index of 343 and in the top 1% for eight week weights, a high flyer for impressive early growth, and late March born AAS1301154 with an index 314 and in the top 1% for maternal ability both headed to Estonia in recent weeks. “The commercial appeal of pedigree Texel performance recorded genetics was clearly evident at Eurotier with many new contacts made with potential customers in the Baltic states and particularly strong interest from Turkey, China and Russia. Although much work is still needed for new export certification for these emerging export destinations, the future looks very bright indeed for British Texel exports.”
For more or to contact see www.texel.co.uk
November 14th, 2014