A Genetic Approach to Internal Parasite Control

A recently completed research project led by Dr Peter Honey from Charles Sturt University has demonstrated that resistance to internal parasites can be improved through genetic selection, and it is likely that it is possible to select for greater resistance to internal parasites within a breeding program without compromising other commercially important traits.

The research project focussed on resistance to internal parasites in pasture based breeding herds in south eastern Australia with faecal egg count (FEC) samples taken from Angus cattle in 8 herds from Coolah in northern NSW to Mortlake in the Victorian western district. All calves were bred by AI using known fully BREEDPLAN recorded bulls with samples taken on animals between 6 and 17 months of age. Approximately 2500 samples, representing progeny from 77 different sires were evaluated in the research project.

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