SHEEP DNA services delivery to the Australian industry will continue next month under a new arrangement finalised today.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation or the Sheep CRC is due to close its doors on 30 June, but has negotiated an agreement to transfer its genomic testing operations to Neogen Australasia.
The Sheep CRC has led the development of DNA testing within the Australian sheep industry and has worked in collaboration with Neogen since the start of the Information Nucleus program in 2007.
Drawing on this long history of successful collaboration, Sheep CRC chief executive James Rowe and Neogen vice president Jason Lilly today finalised the transition for the continuation of DNA services to the Australian sheep industry after 30 June.
Sheep breeders will continue to order tests online through www.sheepdna.com.au, with their samples processed and analysed at Neogen’s Australian laboratories, and results incorporated into the Sheep Genetics databases for assignment of parentage and enhancement of breeding value accuracies.
Prof. Rowe said today’s announcement is a major development in guaranteeing the research and development investment by industry in genomics will deliver commercial outcomes for breeders well into the future.
“Genomic technologies are the key to accelerating the rate of genetic improvement of our flocks, with a recent economic analysis estimating they will increase the value of the industry by more than $121 million by 2029 as a direct result of the CRC’s 12-year research program.
“Achieving these gains for producers would not be possible without securing a smooth transition of our testing arrangements to a trusted commercial provider like Neogen.” Professor Rowe said.
Neogen will continue to employ staff currently based at the Sheep CRC’s Armidale base at the University of New England, ensuring continuity of service provision and retention of industry knowledge.
Dr Lilly said the company recognised the importance of ensuring consistency for sheep producers and retaining a presence in Armidale and the service it provides to strategic industry partners.
“Integrating Neogen’s expertise with this established operation will strengthen our genomic capabilities and our ability to deliver valuable information to the Australian industry,” he said.
Neogen is a global leader in genomic testing for livestock, with headquarters in the United States, and laboratories in Scotland, China, Brazil, as well as Australia. It supplies genetic testing to all 27 of Australia’s major beef cattle associations, as well as dairy cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and other species.
More information is available at www.sheepcrc.org.au