Improving the sustainability and competitive position of the UK beef industry through selective breeding - meat quality extension (of 2090196)

Project Details


Livestock production is one of the major contributors to global greenhouse gas (GHG) production. Feed conversion efficiency is one route in reducing the environmental impact of livestock systems and has the potential to improve margins. Feed conversion efficiency in several livestock sectors has been significantly improved through genetic (breeding) progress, but despite facing increasing pressure to reduce GHG outputs, less progress has been made within the beef sector. This is due to high costs and difficulty in recording data, resulting in feed intake not being able to be incorporated into breeding programmes. This project aims to address this issue by bringing together an industry-wide consortium to deliver a lasting infrastructure for the measurement of feed efficiency in beef cattle and its incorporation into breed improvement programmes.

The specific objectives of this research are:

1) To establish a consortium of stakeholders in the UK beef industry, including academia and governments, and complete the scoping and design of the project.

2) To undertake on-farm animal-based studies to devise, test and validate selection and breeding objectives for feed efficiency.

3) To develop protocols for recording data necessary for selection for feed efficiency at a national scale.

4) To establish a network for national feed intake recording.

5) To undertake genetic analysis and determine selection criteria using data collected.

6) To establish an appropriate business model to ensure an on-going national programme of feed intake recording.
Effective start/end date1/02/2031/03/23


  • UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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