A new arrangement between the Stabiliser Cattle Company and Caisley Eartag Ltd to allow extensive use of tissue sampling aims to improve traceability and the future of the breed to benefit breeders, finishers and consumers.

Currently all Stabiliser herds are performance recorded to combine science, innovation and market knowledge to meet the needs of farmers, processors, retailers and consumers.

This new arrangement where all Stabiliser cattle will be identified and tissue sampled aims to provide immediate and long term benefits according to the breed's business development manager, Seth Wareing.

“Tissue sampling will play a major role in the development of the breed,” confirmed Mr Wareing. “All Stabiliser cattle will be tagged using the Caisley Geno tag at birth which means we will be able to take a DNA sample from every animal at the point of tagging. These tags also have exceptional retention providing peace of mind to producers and minimising the amount of re-tagging required.

“The parentage of all pedigree cattle will be confirmed at birth and all breeding animals will have a parentage test performed using the tissue sample before they are sold. We will keep samples from all other animals so they can be tested later if required.”

The Caisley Geno Tag allows a tissue sample to be collected when the animal is tagged for identification, a process that has been tried and tested for more than 10 years. The tags are easy to use and all samples are collected in a tamper proof sample tube which can be tested immediately or frozen for testing when required.

Mr Wareing said that as a breeding company selling high performance breeding stock it is important for customers to be confident that the animals they buy are fully traceable.

“We already run tests for parentage checks, the horned gene and coat colour. By taking tissue samples of all calves at birth this process will be much more efficient.”

He believes there is also the potential to develop genomics for a range of traits and could open up considerable opportunities for the Stabiliser breed in the future.

“We are confident that with access to DNA samples from all animals in the breed we will be able to provide the highest level of traceability, for example being able to genetically link a steak on the plate back to the sample taken when the animal was just a week old.

“This will bring tremendous peace of mind, providing a secure supply chain with 100% traceability. We intend to be at the fore front of the application of genomic information in beef production based on the establishment of tissue sampling across the entire breed,” concluded Mr Wareing.