The North American industry has identified a new Holstein genetic defect, Calf Recumbency, where an otherwise healthy calf cannot stand and survive, either at birth or within its first few weeks of life. Though the origin animal has yet to be confirmed, the oldest known suspected carrier is the bull SOUTHWIND. The disorder has primarily been transmitted through the sires ROBUST and SUPERSIRE. An industry position paper has been released by the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB), Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) and the Holstein Association USA. Click here to read.
Semex worked diligently with industry researchers to help identify this genetic defect. Semex recognized the urgency of this matter and for corrective measures to be put in place quickly to reduce and eventually eliminate this mutation. In so doing, Semex has worked aggressively with our lab partner Neogen to test all our sires as listed below. This list will be updated as new bulls are tested or released to market.
This development demonstrates the industry’s ability to not only discover debilitating disorders but also activate world-leading genetic researchers that use a comprehensive genomic database to untangle a complex disorder and quickly develop a diagnostic tool that proficiently addresses the problem.
Genetic recessives such as BL, BY, CVM and HCD have been identified in the past. In all cases, the industry responded quickly by identifying carriers and providing breeders with the tools that effectively minimize these disorders in the population. Calf Recumbency will be no different.
The industry is working on coding/labeling and plans to develop a haplotype test that effectively identifies recumbency without needing the mutation test. Semex is currently making changes to its OptiMate™ mating program, enabling its clients to proficiently breed around recumbency and reduce its potential impact.
Semex’s genomic testing tool, Elevate®, will soon have an add-on option for testing females using the recumbency mutation test. This is a standalone test that will use the same sample submitted for Elevate. We will be working with the lab to establish a price for the add-on test. Better yet, we hope and expect a haplotype test for Calf Recumbency will soon be announced by CDCB, and when available, all Elevate-tested animals (past, present, future) will have a reliable assessment of carrier/free status without incurring additional costs of an add-on test.
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