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LIC handling ‘small cow’ issue well

13 May 2013

LIC handling ‘small cow’ issue well

Having met with Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) in recent weeks, Federated Farmers is happy with the briefing it has received from LIC on the isolation of a gene responsible for small dairy cows.

“This recessive gene means calves are born a normal size but simply do not grow,” says Chris Lewis, Federated Farmers Waikato Dairy chairperson.

“The gene has always been present in New Zealand breeding sires, so what LIC has done in isolating the gene is a breakthrough. As is the fact Federated Farmers and LIC sat down together to discuss things openly and honestly.

“Data collected since the 1960s shows around only about one quarter of one percent of calves born to holstein friesian or crossbreds are small cows.

“With the gene now isolated, we were told LIC believes they could have it eliminated from breeding sires as soon as mating in 2018. This does auger well for the future.

“Of course farmers like me have to get through calving first. Small cows will only become evident from October and if things seem awry around them, please let your provincial Federated Farmers Dairy chair know.

“Our contacts are all at www.fedfarm.org.nz and we are here to represent farmer interests,” Mr Lewis concluded.

ENDS

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