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DAFM Award

SusAn ERANET Call 2016 16/SusAn/1 Teagasc, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation €244,999

Project Title:

Sustainable Sheep Production

Project Coordinator:

Sean Fair, University of Limerick

Project Abstract

Sustainable Sheep Production (SusSheP, see p=10)

Sustainable Sheep Production (SusSheP), led by the University of Limerick, is a collaborative project between 8 partners across 4 countries including Ireland, UK, Norway and France. SusSheP will establish the genetic factors controlling ewe longevity under different sheep production systems with the view to developing simple systems for on-farm recording of these traits. The findings will be incorporated into national sheep breeding programmes to breed healthier, longer living ewes that perform optimally in a range of diverse production environments. It will identify the most efficient sheep production systems in terms of labour input and carbon hoofprint. The use of cutting edge biotechnologies will enable the multi-disciplinary team to understand the factors inhibiting sperm transport in the reproductive tract of some European ewe breeds (Irish and French breeds) but not others (Norwegian breeds) with the long term aim of developing a simple artificial insemination method that can be used by farmers. This would greatly facilitate the rate of genetic progress in sheep in line with what has been achieved in other species. Through the enhancement of on farm competitiveness as well as knowledge sharing across industry, farms and the scientific community, SusSheP will contribute to the sustainability of European sheep production.

Final Report:

Not available yet.