Selection for 'environmental fit' from existing domesticated species

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The selection of farm animals through breeding for human benefit has a very long history. In more recent times the practice of animal breeding has become highly sophisticated and the speed of change in ‘production traits’ such as rate of growth and milk yield has correspondingly increased dramatically. This narrow focus on production traits led to a number of well-documented examples of ‘unfavourable’ correlated responses such as negative fertility and health issues in high-yielding dairy cattle, with concerns that animal breeding is inherently antagonistic to animal welfare. In this paper the authors explore some of the questions surrounding breeding and welfare and, specifically, how to conceptualise and improve the ‘fit’ between the selected animal and the environment, or system, in which the animal is reared and managed. The authors conclude that there is a need for a better understanding of genotype × environment effects on health and welfare traits in order to inform the development of breeding programmes that lead to improved environmental fit in animals. They also see the need for the development of valid traits for assessing health and welfare, greater consideration of early life effects that can also potentially affect environmental fit and a need to consider the impacts of climate change on breeding programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171 - 179
Number of pages9
JournalRevue Scientifique et Technique de L'OIE
Volume33
Issue number1
Publication statusFirst published - 2014

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animal breeding
breeding
farmed animal species
milk yield
animals
climate change
genotype
cattle

Keywords

  • Animal breeding
  • Animal health
  • Animal welfare
  • Climate change
  • Early life effect
  • Genotype × environment interaction
  • Narrow breeding goal

Cite this

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title = "Selection for 'environmental fit' from existing domesticated species",
abstract = "The selection of farm animals through breeding for human benefit has a very long history. In more recent times the practice of animal breeding has become highly sophisticated and the speed of change in ‘production traits’ such as rate of growth and milk yield has correspondingly increased dramatically. This narrow focus on production traits led to a number of well-documented examples of ‘unfavourable’ correlated responses such as negative fertility and health issues in high-yielding dairy cattle, with concerns that animal breeding is inherently antagonistic to animal welfare. In this paper the authors explore some of the questions surrounding breeding and welfare and, specifically, how to conceptualise and improve the ‘fit’ between the selected animal and the environment, or system, in which the animal is reared and managed. The authors conclude that there is a need for a better understanding of genotype × environment effects on health and welfare traits in order to inform the development of breeding programmes that lead to improved environmental fit in animals. They also see the need for the development of valid traits for assessing health and welfare, greater consideration of early life effects that can also potentially affect environmental fit and a need to consider the impacts of climate change on breeding programmes.",
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Selection for 'environmental fit' from existing domesticated species. / Lawrence, AB; Wall, E.

In: Revue Scientifique et Technique de L'OIE, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2014, p. 171 - 179.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Selection for 'environmental fit' from existing domesticated species

AU - Lawrence, AB

AU - Wall, E

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - The selection of farm animals through breeding for human benefit has a very long history. In more recent times the practice of animal breeding has become highly sophisticated and the speed of change in ‘production traits’ such as rate of growth and milk yield has correspondingly increased dramatically. This narrow focus on production traits led to a number of well-documented examples of ‘unfavourable’ correlated responses such as negative fertility and health issues in high-yielding dairy cattle, with concerns that animal breeding is inherently antagonistic to animal welfare. In this paper the authors explore some of the questions surrounding breeding and welfare and, specifically, how to conceptualise and improve the ‘fit’ between the selected animal and the environment, or system, in which the animal is reared and managed. The authors conclude that there is a need for a better understanding of genotype × environment effects on health and welfare traits in order to inform the development of breeding programmes that lead to improved environmental fit in animals. They also see the need for the development of valid traits for assessing health and welfare, greater consideration of early life effects that can also potentially affect environmental fit and a need to consider the impacts of climate change on breeding programmes.

AB - The selection of farm animals through breeding for human benefit has a very long history. In more recent times the practice of animal breeding has become highly sophisticated and the speed of change in ‘production traits’ such as rate of growth and milk yield has correspondingly increased dramatically. This narrow focus on production traits led to a number of well-documented examples of ‘unfavourable’ correlated responses such as negative fertility and health issues in high-yielding dairy cattle, with concerns that animal breeding is inherently antagonistic to animal welfare. In this paper the authors explore some of the questions surrounding breeding and welfare and, specifically, how to conceptualise and improve the ‘fit’ between the selected animal and the environment, or system, in which the animal is reared and managed. The authors conclude that there is a need for a better understanding of genotype × environment effects on health and welfare traits in order to inform the development of breeding programmes that lead to improved environmental fit in animals. They also see the need for the development of valid traits for assessing health and welfare, greater consideration of early life effects that can also potentially affect environmental fit and a need to consider the impacts of climate change on breeding programmes.

KW - Animal breeding

KW - Animal health

KW - Animal welfare

KW - Climate change

KW - Early life effect

KW - Genotype × environment interaction

KW - Narrow breeding goal

M3 - Review article

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SP - 171

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JO - Revue Scientifique et Technique de L'OIE

JF - Revue Scientifique et Technique de L'OIE

IS - 1

ER -