5 September 1997

Genotyping for Bleu du Maine

BLEU du Maine sheep breeders broke new ground at their show and sale at Carlisle, offering rams with genotyping results from scrapie testing.

Breed society chairman Gavin Shanks, who runs the Inveresk flock at Carluke, Lanarkshire, said the move to introduce the scheme and announce the results of individual rams was a positive step forward for the Bleu du Maine.

"The breed does not have a scrapie problem but we feel the genotyping programme will bring long-term benefits to the breeds development and its position as a terminal sire."

Messrs Hastings, Calne, Wilts, were keen to secure a good quality tup with a good genotyping result. They paid the joint top price of 1000gns for Mr Shanks 1993-bred tup Inveresk Masterpiece with an AA RR RR rating. This tup was male champion at this summers Royal Highland and Royal Welsh shows.

Sharing the 1000gns tag was Edenhall Showstopper, a ram lamb from Edenhall Estates Ltds flock at Penrith that had won the lamb class at both Ingliston and Builth Wells. Buyer was J Farquharson, Errol, Perthshire.

AVERAGES: 44 ram lambs £310; 15 shearling rams £398; two aged rams £866; four ewes £115; 13 shearling gimmers £252 and 15 ewe lambs £173. (Harrison and Hetherington)n