Crash course in animal genetics open to farmers and vets

Livestock scientists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) are delivering a crash course in animal breeding for vets, farmers and the wider industry.

In collaboration with the data company Agrimetrics, the two-day Vetnomics course will provide a refresher in basic genetics as well as covering the latest developments in genotyping and sequencing.

It will also guide users in the best assessment and management of animals based on their genetic merit.

See also: Genomics: perspectives from dairy farms in the UK and USA

Dr Steph Smith, the course organiser, said: “Vetnomics provides a comprehensive but condensed introduction to genetics and genomics in animal breeding and their use in practice in just two days.”

The course will also feature a practical demonstration by Neogen, a company that offers genomics services worldwide.

Course content:

  • Basic genetics
  • Heritability and genetic parameters
  • Selective breeding in livestock
  • Theory of genotyping and sequencing
  • Practicalities of genotyping and sequencing
  • Estimating EBVs
  • The importance of phenotype recording
  • Difficult-to-measure phenotypes
  • Disease traits
  • Genomics in practice: dairy; beef; sheep; goats; pigs; poultry; crossbreeding
  • Further uses of genomics in livestock
  • Genetic services in the dairy industry

SRUC’s Professor Mike Coffey, who is among the livestock experts delivering Vetnomics, said: “The practical application of science is playing an increasingly important role in modern farming.

“Genomic technologies can help improve and safeguard animal health and welfare through better breeding and management. Vets are the most trusted farm advisers, so need to know what to advise on genomics.

“Through the interdisciplinary approach of Vetnomics, we hope to share important messages from animal genetics research; give confidence in emerging technologies; and refresh and inform vets as to the underlying mechanisms of genetic progress for data interpretation and discussion with farmers.”

Course information

Available online or through a two-day residential course, Vetnomics will be held at the Norton House Hotel, Ingliston, Edinburgh, EH28 8LX, on 22 and 23 November.

Prices start at £800. To find out more and to sign up, see the Vetnomics course on the SRUC website

Alternatively you can email  or call him on 0131 535 4196.

See more