Jersey Australia Makes Hard Decisions

AUSTRALIA - The Board of Jersey Australia has made some significant decisions after discovering the dam of highly credentialed USA sires Gannon, Grieves and Dale carries 16 per cent non-Jersey genetics.
calendar icon 24 March 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

The dam in question, Oomsdale Gordo Goldie Gratitude, has been relegated to ‘foundation’ cow status in Australia which means her female progeny can be registered in Jersey Australia’s Genetic Recovery programme and her sons have been deregistered.

While this stance is stronger than that taken by the American Jersey Association which has relaxed its rules to allow Gratitude’s sons as well as daughters to participate in the American Genetic Recovery programme, Jersey Australia president Trevor Saunders from Yarragon, Victoria, said the integrity of the Australian Jersey herd book could not be compromised.

“While we understand the challenges faced by the company marketing the affected bull’s semen and the short term financial losses to our innocent members who used the semen in good faith in their efforts to continue to improve the Jersey breed in Australia, we have a responsibility to the Jersey breed to maintain genetic integrity,” he said.

“The solution we have come up with allows female progeny of Gannon, Grieves and Dale to be retained in Jersey Australia’s Genetic Recovery registers so they will not be lost completely and their progeny can gradually be upgraded to full registered status”.

Mr Saunders said he had faith in the checks and balances in place in the pedigree industry as back in 2002, when Gratitude was identified as a potential dam of AI sires, the DNA technology available at that time did not indicate any parentage abnormalities.

“This latest genomic SNP technology was able identify that Gratitude was not 100 per cent Jersey and we should remember that Gannon, Grieves and Dale progeny would probably carry less than five per cent non-Jersey genetics.

“It was a very difficult decision for the Board but I believe we have acted in the best interests of our members, the dairy industry and the Jersey breed,” said Mr Saunders.

Fortunately there are only a handful of Gannon, Dale and Grieves calves registered so far in Australia. Their calves born prior to December 31, 2010 will be eligible for the stage 2 Genetic Register (GR2) and for the lower level (GR3) for those born after that date according to Jersey Australia’s Executive Officer, Scott Joynson.

“Gannon is a bull of high international standing with strong US figures which convert into very impressive Australian Breeding Values International ABV(i) and the Board’s decision means he can still have an impact in the Australia dairy herd through use in grade herds and through our Genetic Recovery programme.

“This decision will have no impact on grade dairy farmers who are seeking an infusion of Jersey genetics to increase fertility and boost milk components,” said Mr Joynson.

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