Friday, 09 February 2018 07:55

Animal genetics ‘olympics’ a first in NZ

Written by 
LIC chief scientist and ICAR co-chair Bevin Harris. LIC chief scientist and ICAR co-chair Bevin Harris.

About 1000 people will this month travel to New Zealand for three prestigious animal recording and genetics conferences.

For the first time, the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP) will hold its four-yearly conference in NZ.

The congress will be combined with the annual conferences for the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) and Interbull – the leading event for research and development in animal improvement, milk testing, DNA parentage analysis, genomics and genetics.

Discussion topics will include parentage verification, breeding and genetic evaluation, ear tags, technology and herd testing.

LIC chief scientist and ICAR conference co-chair, Bevin Harris, says the events – attended mainly by researchers, scientists and other professionals – are something for the NZ animal industry to be proud of.

“It’s like the Olympics of the animal genetics world coming to NZ. These are the biggest events on the industry’s event calendar,” says Harris.

“This represents a huge recognition of our country’s animal genetics industry and is a great opportunity to showcase our animal recording and technological developments. NZ is a leader in this field so what better way to show this than by hosting these conferences.”

Previous WCGALP events have been held in Spain, UK, Canada, France, Brazil, Germany and the US.

NZAEL manager and ICAR conference co-chair, Jeremy Bryant, says this will be the first trip to NZ for many of the visitors. 

“We want to showcase the latest and greatest of animal recording and genetics and give visitors a hands-on insight into the NZ agricultural scene.”

The taste of NZ’s primary industries is offered to the visitors on field trips, including a trip to a Waiheke Island oyster farm and a day in Waikato visiting artificial breeding facilities and local dairy farms.

All three events will be held at Aotea Centre in Auckland, the first event starting on February 7.

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