SEMEN ARCHIVES EYES ALLELES CARRIERS

PEDIGREE FLOCKMASTERS with rams carrying alleles which fall in categories two, three, four and five of the National Scrapie Plan can put their rams forward for semen collection for the NSP Semen Archive.

Semen Archive breed liason manager Simon Farmer says the archive is interested in collecting the alleles that make up susceptible genotypes, rather than solely the susceptible genotypes.

SCIENCE BEHIND POLICY

 “However, establishing the archive is not a sign that anyone doubts the science behind the policy of breeding for scrapie resistance,” he explains.

Should a breed become threatened at any point in the future, the archive will ensure there is semen available from all genotypes to help repopulate the breed.

“This will be particularly useful for breeds whose main breeding flocks are all located in a particular geographic area.”

 The archive will collect semen from 20 rams of each breed, with 400 semen doses representing each susceptible allele from 11 main breeds and 100 semen doses of each allele for every other breed.

“Without this semen then the only option left to some breeds should they be threatened will be to outcross with another breed,” says Mr Farmer.

“The archive is being set up to avoid this and preserve any health and production traits that may be wanted in future.”

Producers who believe they have rams eligible for the semen archive should contact Mr Farmer (08450 060 008;

email info@semen-archive.co.uk).