19 May 2000

Unwanted progeny – FAWCwarning

THE livestock industry should accept that it has to find ways to reduce the number of unwanted progeny, according to the Farm Animal Welfare Councils annual review.

FAWC, which advises the government on animal welfare, acknowledges that certain areas of agricultural production will unavoidably result in large numbers of unwanted progeny. But it says this should be minimised within the constraints of current technology and a practical livestock industry.

It also suggests some developments in biotechnology, such as sexing of semen in dairy production, could also be used to tackle the problem

Connected with this work FAWC intends to research the relationship between breeding programmes and animal welfare as part of this years research and development programme.

Livestock breeding programmes are an area needing further work, it claims.

It says some of the most serious welfare problems highlighted in recent reports are associated with the outcome of unbalanced genetic selection in breeding programmes.