Reynoldsburg, Ohio — The American Jersey Cattle Association announced March 15 it will implement far-reaching changes in its services for the permanent identification of Jersey genetics, after discovering some of its Jersey cattle contained the Holstein breed.
In February, Select Sires temporarily suspended sales of semen from offspring of a Jersey bull/dam line that had been found to contain Holstein genetics.
At its regular meeting March 13-14, the AJCA board of directors adopted rules for expanded recording of animals of both sexes in the Genetic Recovery Program, and for use of genomic technology to establish Jersey genetic inheritance in females enrolled in Jersey Expansion.
The board also reviewed information from the continuing investigation into the parentage of the cow Oomsdale Gordo Goldie Gratitude 111224922.
Following notification to the industry on Feb. 15, genetic material from “Gratitude” was located and submitted for genotyping. Based on the cow’s own DNA, AIPL research geneticists have estimated Jersey breed inheritance of 83 percent. The sire of the cow is as yet undetermined, although the discovery process is continuing.
The board directed that the pedigree of Oomsdale Gordo Goldie Gratitude 111224922 be corrected to change the sire to UR Unidentified Unknown Breed Sire, resulting in a change in her registry status to J1.
It further directed that her registry status be raised from J1 to OA, based upon her own DNA genotyping test.
Recorded progeny from “Gratitude”, totally approximately 5,600 animals, will also have their registry status downgraded. The breed association is in the process of correcting the animal identification records and notifying owners.
All changes take effect immediately and reflect the developments in technology used by the Association.
“Recording systems have been added by the AJCA as owner needs and technology have evolved,” said association president David Chamberlain, in a news release. “Our purpose is to permanently record the inheritance of Jersey genetics. Our programs are designed so that the status of any animal is defined by the degree to which its Jersey ancestry is known and documented.”
Recording methods. The association has four systems for recording Jersey and Jersey-influenced animals: Herd Register (no prefix);
Genetic Recovery (GR, PR and OA prefixes); Jersey Expansion (J1 prefix); and identified but not eligible for the Herd Register, Genetic Recovery or Jersey Expansion (UR-prefix). Rules are established for descendants of Genetic Recovery and Jersey Expansion animals to progress to Herd Register status.
A rule was adopted to allow use of genomic SNP technology in establishing the level of Jersey genetic inheritance as a basis for assigning registry status.
The association will re-assign the registry status of J1 females as OA, when genetic inheritance is determined to be at least 75 percent Jersey as tested with the BovineSNP50 DNA Analysis BeadChip.
As scientific advances are made to improve the confidence level of SNP technology for determining inheritance of breed-specific genes, the board signaled that it will expand its use in AJCA identification programs.
Procedures of Genetic Recovery were amended to provide for selective recording of males whose pedigrees qualify them for registry status as PR and GR, and then for continued recording of their progeny. These bulls will be recorded only when parentage qualified and after genomic testing using a method approved by the AJCA Board of Directors.
A male at the PR level will be recorded only when his OA dam is also genomically tested and qualified as at least 75 percent Jersey by an approved method.
These actions increase recording options for females to 19 pedigree combinations, up from eight currently. Seven additional pedigree combinations for males can be recorded, compared to the current number of two.
The changes will encourage the perpetuation of Jersey genetics, support breeding programs for conversion to Jersey herds, improve accuracy of Jersey genetic evaluations, and enhance the herd improvement services now provided by the association.