Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Genomics Beefs Up Fight Against Cattle Thieving

Genomic testing could be used to trace modern-day cattle rustlers, AgriLand reports.

An official from Ireland's agriculture and food authority, Teagasc, says that the country's large database of beef cattle could be used to identify stolen cattle and to trace the origin of meat. Teagasc's Donagh Berry adds an animal's sire could also be determined, as long at the sire himself has been genotyped.

However, Berry also says that more genotyping needs to be done to shore up the cattle database and better records are also needed. According to AgriLand, Berry says that some 15 percent of data on sires from farmers is inaccurate, though that number is higher in New Zealand where 30 percent of sire data is incorrect. Still he notes that nearly 70 percent of calves have their sire recorded.

"This allows us to fill in those gaps and increase genetic gain. If we look at the impact of that 15 percent error, that is reducing our genetic gain for fertility traits by around 12 percent," he adds.

AgriLand notes that Berry says that the cattle database could also be used to identify disease and healthy traits.