Breed Development Strategy
The Texel Sheep Society (TSS) Breed Development Strategy aims to complement the Society “Memorandum of Association” by providing support to increase economically important traits in the Texel breed. The strategy provides the necessary strategic direction for the Board to apply over the next decade for the improvement of the Texel sheep breed. Additionally it addresses how TSS own services need to evolve as part of an integrated Breed Development and Business support model.
- Breed benefits
- Maintain and enhance the breeds reputation for consistency, quality and better financial return for lamb producers
- Maintain and enhance market relevance and dominance by developing traits that are of commercial value
- Breeder benefits
- Maintain national demand for breeders animals
- Minimise the risk of substitution for alternative meat breeds
- Industry benefits
- Provide opportunities to collaborate for mutual benefit
- Provide opportunity to access for mutual benefit the largest available ovine dataset
- Provide opportunities to be associated with industry leading, innovative genomic projects
Taking the recommendations from the AbacusBio Ltd report in 2016, looking into the benefits of British Texel sheep genetics within the UK industry, three key objectives were introduced into the strategy:
- Develop TSS services to drive genetic improvement that benefits all members. This must be delivered by a sustainable business model (with a relevant governance structure) that shares the costs of achieving those benefits across the membership.
- Accelerate the rate of genetic gain of Texel sheep, through the use of performance recording (as outlined in the Abacus Bio report) and genomics, ensuring that the Texel breed maintains its market share as a terminal sire whilst developing its maternal influence further in the sheep industry.
- Provide knowledge transfer and promotional activity to the wider sheep industry highlighting the benefits of genetic improvement and commercial use of the Texel breed for commercial value. Through performance recording and the enhancement of, by collecting hard to measure traits and the using genomic selection.
The Society recent success attracting large scale grants along with changes in rules and fees have helped support the implementation of many aspects of this strategy. The strategy will remain a living document that gets refined and adapted to meet with Society business, membership need and industry requirements over the next ten years and beyond.