Benefits from recent genetic progress in sheep and beef populations in UK

Amer et al. report on benefits of breeding programmes for sheep and beef cattle in UK. They evaluated the effect of 10 years of selection for a period of 20 years. They noted that observed genetic trends were lower than predicted from the theory (a common observation!). In recorded hill sheep, sheep crossing sire and sheep terminal sire breeding programmes the benefits was estimated at 5.3, 1.0, and 11.5 million GBP. If the progress is properly disseminated to the rest of the sheep (meat) sector, the benefits would be 110.8 million GBP. Benefits for terminal sire beef breeds were estimated at 4.9 million GBP, while the estimate for dual-purpose breeds wsa 18.2 million GBP for genetic gain in growth and carcass traits accounting for negative effect in calving traits. After some more "economy massage" they report that the internal rate of return for investment in sheep and beef cattle breeding programmes was 32%.

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