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Genetic defect identified by AmBreed’s Technology

Press Release: Ambreed New Zealand.

Genetic defect identified by AmBreed’s Genomic Selection Technology

AmBreed New Zealand is urging other genetic companies to follow its lead to identify and remove animals carrying a damaging genetic defect.

Brachyspina (BY), causes a minority of cows to produce still born calves with deformed organs and elongated limbs.

A genetic marker test for the rare genetic defect has been developed by Ambreed New Zealand’s Dutch parent company CRV following the release of its world-leading inSire Genomic Selection technology. Here in New Zealand, Ambreed is taking the lead and using the new test to prevent new carrier animals from entering the market.

The marker test was developed by CRV in co-operation with Animal Health Services in Netherlands, Denmark’s University of Copenhagen and the University of Luik, in Belgium. It will be used by the company when DNA testing potential sires through its inSire Breeding Programs. Other genetics companies around the world can screen their animals through CRV in Holland.

CRV’s research traces the origin of the defect to a single bull, Sweet Haven Tradition. This bloodline will have had some impact on the New Zealand population through his son Bis-May Tradition Cleitus.

AmBreed New Zealand managing director Jos Koopman said while the number of carriers was expected to be very low in New Zealand, they could be identified quickly if the marker test was applied.

AmBreed New Zealand had also successfully identified the condition CVM in New Zealand, ensuring no new carriers were released by AmBreed onto the New Zealand market.

“We will follow the same process with BY as we did with CVM, and will not be selecting BY positive bulls in our breeding program,” said Jos Koopman.

He said identifying the BY defect would give New Zealand farmers confidence in using AmBreed sires with the assurance AmBreed’s global research reduced genetic risk while boosting genetic gain.


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