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Farm Animal Genetics Resources Committee Latest Developments

The Farm Animal Genetics Resources committee (FAnGR) advises Defra and Devolved administrations on issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources. A paper has been prepared highlighting the latest developments on these. This paper advises on the use of current and future technologies relevant to breeding and preservation of farm animal genetic resources.

Click on the link below for more information.

Review of current and new technologies relevant to FAnGR. 

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NADIS Sheep Fertility Resource May 2016

Each week NADIS will be emailing you with a topical animal health resource that reflects the seasonal disease challenge livestock face.

Abortion in ewes

An abortion rate in excess of two percent is suggestive of an infectious cause and veterinary investigation is essential at an early stage. More information.

Ram Disease Pre- and Post-Sale

As a consequence of high concentrate feeding often in preparation for sale, rams are prone to several conditions. More information.

Ram Management

Although the breeding period on many intensive sheep farming enterprises may only extend to five or six weeks, effective management of rams necessitates all year round attention. More information.

Mating for Early Lambing

The onset of the breeding season can be manipulated by:

  • The ram effect
  • Melatonin implant
  • PMSG injections following progesterone sponges

More information.


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USA and New Zealand markets open to UK genetics

Exports of both semen and embryos to New Zealand and the USA are now possible, following the granting of export certificates for UK genetics for both countries.

Exports of both semen and embryos to New Zealand and the USA are now possible, following the granting of export certificates for UK genetics for both countries.

While the export certificates recently granted impose some tough health conditions on donor animals and their flocks, the granting of these certificates will enable Texel breeders to take advantage of the demand for top quality genetics from both countries, explains Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates.

“Much behind the scenes work has gone in to gaining approval for these certificates and it is no small part due to the demand shown for British Texel genetics that these arrangements have finally been put in place.

“Working closely with DEFRA through the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) the Texel Society has lobbied for these certificates to be put in place to ensure our breeders can fulfil the wishes of clients in both countries,” he explained.

Breeders who have received enquiries from either the USA or New Zealand are urged to contact their preferred artificial breeding services provider and their local vet to ascertain if their flocks and individual stock can meet the various health requirements of the relevant export certificate.  Exports always sound attractive and can be added income to domestic sales, but are fraught with detail and risk if not managed carefully. The key is to plan ahead and ensure you get the best advice from your local and specialist vet service providers ASAP, so you are best placed to advise your overseas contacts,’ added Mr Yates.

“We know there is demand for British Texels in both countries from previous contact from both New Zealand and American breeders and it will be important to act quickly to ensure the relevant health tests can be completed in time for collection to take place.”

Full details of the health certificates for the USA and New Zealand can be found at

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Barbara Gamble – Springwell Texels

The Society has sadly been informed that Mrs Barbara Gamble passed away peacefully on May 4, 2016, at Edgewater Care Home, Donaghadee. Barbara was a Northern Ireland Club Council Member and a recipient of the Texel Society Presidents award for her contribution to the Texel breed.

Formerly of Hill Farm, Springwell Road, Groomsport, loving wife of the late Robert and dear Mother of Roberta and Henry, cherished mother-in-law of Paddy and Alice and devoted grandmother of James, Sarah, Catherine, Robert and Anna.

A service of Thanksgiving in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor 7th May (Saturday) at 12.30.  Family flowers only please. Donations may be sent, if desired, to Alzheimer’s Society, c/o S. Clarke & Son, Funeral Directors, 64 Newtownards Road, Bangor, BT20 4DR. 

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NADIS Disease Alert May 2016

NADIS May Disease Alert - Bovine Tuberculosis and Flystrike in sheep.

To see the disease alert summary click here.

To see the disease alert webinar click here.

NADIS publishes a monthly Parasite Forecast for farmers and livestock keepers, based on detailed Met Office data. The Parasite Forecast outlines the parasitic challenges facing cattle and sheep in the difference UK regions.

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Texel crosses in demand at ewe and lamb sales

Recent sales of ewes with lambs at foot across the country have seen Texel crosses dominating the trade at a number of markets, taking top prices from Hereford to Longtown and many points in between.

At Welshpool earlier in the week a Texel shearling with a Texel sired lamb at foot led the prices when selling for £300, while a two crop Texel ewe with a Texel lamb at foot sold for £270 and six Texel shearlings with crossbred lambs at foot made £190 an outfit.

Meanwhile, at Bentham young Texel cross ewes with twins at foot made from £180/outfit to £190/outfit, with Texel shearlings with lambs at foot making up to £200 a unit.

Then at Skipton the prices peaked at £240/outfit for Texel cross ewes with crossbred lambs at foot and it was a similar story at Longtown when Texel ewes with singles led the day at £140/outfit.

Hereford also saw Texels in demand with Texel one-crop ewes with twins at foot making up to £214 and Texel cross hoggs with lambs at foot making £172/outfit.

Empty Texel hoggs have also been well sought after early in the season, with prices peaking at £160/head at Hereford.

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Claybury flock is AHDB Most Improved Flock 2016

James Draper’s Shropshire-based Claybury flock is the winner of the 2016 AHDB Beef & Lamb Better Returns Programme Improved Flock Award. This award is presented to the English Signet performance recorded flock that makes the greatest improvement in the breeding potential of the lamb crop during the year.

Through the BRP, AHDB Beef and Lamb aims to highlight the financial impact that improved breeding and better lamb selection strategies can have on commercial flock profitability.

This award seeks to reward those breeders using estimated breeding values to enhance the potential performance of their flocks and assist them to promote their achievement. The impact of performance recorded stock is significant and is increasing every year because of the activities of progressive farmers.

Founded in 1997 by the Draper family, the Claybury flock now extends to 40 pedigree ewes alongside a flock of 100 cross-breds, and James combines farming with working full time as an agricultural manager for ABP UK.

Day to day management of the flock falls to James’ father, Robert, with the flock originally founded to supply top quality commercial rams for Robert’s commercial ewes. Today the family farm is home to a mixed enterprise of arable land and beef cattle as well as the pedigree and commercial sheep flocks.

With a focus on high welfare and attention to detail animals are bred for growth and an overall high index, aiming to be in the top 5% of the breed, explains James. “Breed characteristics are also taken into account and it is important to remember that breeding any pedigree livestock takes time. The key to selection of any purchased stock are performance figures, locomotion, a good back end, length and a tight fleece.”

The family try not to buy in any ewes, but purchase rams annually to maintain broad bloodlines within the flock. Historic rams to note include Glenside Lord of the Ring, Haddo Ignitor, Humeston Juniper, Garngour Nijinsky, Claybury Indiana, Millar’s Olympian, Claybury Millreef, and Claybury Rocky Balbao. More recent purchases who have had an impact include Mellorvale Tomahawk and the 2014- bought Stainton Vantage II.

“His progeny have it all and he has been successfully included in the RamCompare project,” adds James who is always looking to improve the performance of his stock to help with overall quality and reducing problem areas such as lameness and mastitis.

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NADIS Parasite Forecast and Video Case Study April 2016

NADIS Parasite Forecast and Video Case Study April 2016 - Worming Ewes at lambing, Nematodirus planning and gut worms in cattle.

To see the latest parasite forecast click here.

To see the webinar click here.


NADIS publishes a monthly Parasite Forecast for farmers and livestock keepers, based on detailed Met Office data. The Parasite Forecast outlines the parasitic challenges facing cattle and sheep in the difference UK regions.

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Doug Jewitt of Hutton Buscel, Scarborough (Osbaldeston flock, JPO)

Doug passed away aged 83 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He leaves wife Sue, son John and daughter Joanne (both married with family and living close-by and running the farm this last lambing time).  Our thoughts are with them.

Doug has been a member of the Texel Society from early days, 1978. He was a member even before they had Texel sheep. He has bred Texels to a high standard, and has been a  frequent winner at the Yorkshire show and several local shows. He has sold predominantly and very successfully to a a strong commercial market.

He was a founder member of the Northern Area Texels and took his turn in early days as Vice Chairman and then Chairman through the years when the Club was growing and very busy with promotional events.  He was also flockmaster of the Texel Group breeding scheme, (YTD) and also chaired various Texel initiatives such as Progeny and Performance Testing of Texels in the 80's as several members sought to develop the breed in Yorkshire.

While he was also and arable farmer, he loved his sheep and was always looking to develop new ideas in the Texels. He will be sadly missed by many in the agricultural fraternity.

The funeral will take place on Monday 11th April at 12 noon at Hutton Buscel Church (near Scarborough).


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NADIS - Parasite Forecast and Disease Alert - March 2016

NADIS Parasite Forecast. In the March issue plan this season's control strategy: Worming ewes at lambing, Nematodirus plan for lambs and Lungworm in cattle.

View the latest forecast here.

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