Feeding the World through Improved Animal Health and Genetic Selection


  • Holly L. Neibergs Washington State University, Department ofAnimal Sciences, PO Box 646353, Pullman, WA 99164-6353




food production, beef cattle, dairy cattle, cattle health, management


Animal health is a complex interaction of the genetics of the individual, the environment in which they live, and the management practices that influence the animal’s pathogen exposures. To efficiently maximize production and meet the increasing global demand for meat and dairy protein, cattle health must be improved. The use of genetic selection to choose cattle that are less susceptible to disease has not been extensively explored. The availability of new genetic tools makes the identification of loci associated with disease more efficient and provides an opportunity to use genomic selection to increase the rate of genetic gains in production and health traits. The genetic gains from these advances have begun to be realized in the dairy industry. This review discusses the potential for improvement in cattle production and health through genetic selection as a means of meeting the global demands for beef and dairy protein for human consumption.






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