From Spring 2021, all farmers using LIC’s GeneMark DNA parentage testing service will get their animals screened for six genetic variants that have a significant impact on animal health and milk production. LIC will report any affected animals.
Removing these animals with genetic variations from the herd will help ensure that farmer's rear only the healthiest, highest performing animals.
The newly discovered genetic variants impact animal health and milk production to the tune of up to $10 million in lost production each year across the national dairy herd.
- LIC scientists have discovered six recessive genetic variants which significantly impact cow health and milk production.
- LIC has developed a diagnostic test to screen animals and identify affected calves to help manage the frequency of the variants in the dairy population.
- Impacts include lower milk production (~1000L of milk per lactation for the biggest effect variant), lower milk solids (-75kg/ms per lactation for biggest effect variant), smaller stature, smaller chest circumference, and other anatomical changes.
- As the variants are recessive, animals need two copies to be affected.
- Approx. 0.5% of animals born will be affected by one of the six genetic variants.
- Each of the variants exist within the national herd at differing frequencies.
This information will be provided free of charge alongside parentage results so farmers can make an informed decision on whether to retain these animals in their herd.
How to Book testing
This will automatically be reporting on when receiving profile and parentage results.