TB Advantage

TB Advantage is a new genetic index published by AHDB Dairy, to help dairy farmers make informed decisions to breed cows which have an improved resistance to bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

The index follows extensive research into the genetics of bTB, undertaken jointly by the University of Edinburgh, Roslin Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), and which was supported by Defra and the Welsh Government. Their work showed genetic variation between animals, and formed the basis of the TB Advantage; the first genetic index of its kind in the world.

Using data on over 650,000 Holstein cows who have bTB data recorded by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), breeding patterns have been established and more resistant bloodlines identified. Initially, the TB Advantage will only be available for the Holstein breed, but work is under way to establish if the index can be extended to other dairy and beef breeds, in the longer term.

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