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Breeding programs and technologies

A step-by-step selection process

The French genetic improvement system for ruminants has been built around a nationally-coordinated group-led organization setup. From defining selection objectives through to genetic assessment, every step in the selection process works to optimized methods that integrate all valuable scientific and technological advances for the benefit of breeders and industry subsectors.

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Effective breeding programmes

France develops world-beating selection programmes that are built around a huge population of animals enrolled in on-farm and on-station performance data recording schemes, very-large-scale progeny testing, and the integration of applied genomics science. The results of these programmes in terms of genetic progress and productivity impacts at farm-scale rank them among the best in the world.

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Accurate and diverse genetic indexes

The French genetic assessments offer provides sharp, breed-specific indexes on a large number of wide-ranging criteria: from dairying traits to carcass yield traits, from maternal quality traits to functional traits, and more. This enables each individual breeder to hand-pick their breeding stock animals to get the traits package combination that best fits their selection objectives, business and production conditions.

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Effective safety system and risk anticipation

The fact that the export market for French genetic material extends the world over provides undeniable recognition of the guarantees assured by the national veterinary health control system, which covers not just the animals but also all semen and embryos marketed. Armed with these competitive advantages, and with the added support of a national genetic disease observatory, French genetics is able to meet the most exacting veterinary health specifications of global customers.

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Integrating emerging technologies

French selection programmes have proactively integrated breakthrough in biotechnology and the information made available through DNA analysis to deliver an offer that opens up new perspectives for livestock breeders: Genotyping-enhanced genomics assessment, semen sexing to enable quality-guaranteed herd replacement, embryo transfer as a gateway to elite genetics, and more.

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Conserving livestock biodiversity

Over the last thirty years, a series of on-farm niche breed conservation measures have been led as part of a policy designed to protect the biodiversity of French livestock. In support of these measures, and to ensure that this biodiversity is sustainably conserved into the very-long-term, the French national Cryobank has been collecting and compiling genetic material from every livestock species (cattle, sheep, goat, donkey, rabbit, poultry, and more).

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