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In-Breeding Spells Doom

by 5m Editor
2 August 2007, at 10:05am

BOTSWANA - Livestock breeders have been cautioned against practicing in-breeding to avoid associated dangers. Speaking in an interview, cattle breeder, Mr Basimanyana Masire, said in-breeding can be a catastrophe to the livestock industry in as much as contagious diseases.

No animal must be allowed to mate with its own progeny, he said. The results can be very bad for the farmer.

Mr Masire said in essence, breeding livestock was meant to improve the quality of the farmerss breeds.

He explained that there were certain traits that a farmer always wanted to improve his cattle. The dominant traits must always be stronger than the recessive ones.

He said in a process of in-breeding, recessive traits gained strength against dominant one, thus reducing the quality of the animal.

In-breeding leads to a situation where the dominant traits become weaker. So the weaker the dominent traits get, the stronger the recessive traits become.

Consequently, he said, the recessive traits surpassed the dominant ones and as a result the contribution that both parents could have had on their progeny was reduced and the farmer would then have to suffer a loss.

Mr Masire said at the end, the desired improvement of quality of the animal was not achieved, a situation that provided for the appearance of stray genes.

At worst, Mr Masire said allowing a bull to mate with its offspring may lead to infertility, as the offspring of closely related parents lost a lot of hormonal value and could not produce anything with best performance.

They will simply be far away from gaining pedigree status, he added.

Bulls must not be bred to their progeny because the results would be the most disappointing to the farmer.

He advised farmers to be particular when conducting the breeding process of their livestock. Mr Masire said most traditional farmers understood breeding better and were careful about breeding of their animals.

However, it had been observed that, most new farmers were not careful with the breeding practices of their animals and often keep the same bull in the kraal for many years and as a result the bull will then mate with its progeny and mother.

5m Editor