Genetics

Healthier calves through ImmuneDEX lifts focus on sustainable Angus beef

Beef Central, 21/07/2020

 

Angus producers, and Angus Australia, are focused on assisting the beef industry to meet the changing expectations of beef consumers, customers, investors and other stakeholders.

This was recently highlighted in an industry report titled “Australian Beef Sustainability – 2020 Annual Update”. The annual update provides the industry and the wider community with an understanding of how the Australian beef industry is moving forward to creating a more sustainable sector.

This year’s annual update drew attention to the collaborative efforts of Angus Australia and CSIRO with the development of the breed’s ImmuneDEX research breeding value.

ImmuneDEX (click here to view last year’s launch story) provides a genetic description of an animal’s ability to react to immune system challenge, such as disease.

It assists in the changing landscape of beef production, as findings in the research showed that animals with a superior immune competence phenotype had significantly lower health related costs and mortality rates.

Importantly, the genetic strategy is expected to assist in reducing the use of antibiotics, improving overall welfare and health of the animal, and maintaining consumer confidence.

With the ability to select animals based on their immune competence and resistance, Angus producers can focus on not only improving productivity, but also improving animal health and welfare, a growing concern among consumers.

Angus Australia chief executive Dr Peter Parnell said Angus Australia and Angus breeders were at the forefront of using technology to improve production gains and overall profitability of beef supply chains.

“While production gains are important, it is also well understood that balance is required with beef sustainability factors,” he said.

“A good example on the focus on sustainability is recent collaborative research and development Angus Australia is undertaking with CSIRO. This has seen the development of ImmuneDEX which is a new breeding tool aiming to produce healthier calves with less antibiotics requirements,”

The ImmuneDEX project has been highlighted as a case study on page 46 of the Annual Update, accessible below.

  • Click this link to access a copy of the Australian Beef Sustainability – 2020 Annual Update
  • To learn more about Angus Australia’s new ImmuneDEX research breeding value, click here
  • To view the list of sires ranked on their ImmuneDEX breeding value, click here.

 

Source: Angus Australia

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