Angus breeders, stay on top of defect


ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The American Angus Association is working to keep the cattle industry up to date on arthrogryposis multiplex (AM), or curly calf syndrome, a genetic defect discovered within the breed late in 2008.

Since the gene has been identified and testing has become available, five labs are now conducting the tests and electronically submitting those results to the association daily.

The results are being posted to the association’s Web site,, and being added to the database.

As of March 31, more than 50,000 animals had been tested and reported to the association.

Animals on the report are labeled several ways:

No Carrier Ancestor, the animal listed has no AM carrier in its pedigree or has an ancestor that has been tested free and therefore does not require testing;

Undetermined, the animal is commercial and does not have enough information in its pedigree to determine parentage.

Potential Carrier, has one or more ancestors in its pedigree that are carriers and should be tested to find out definite status.

As of July 1, 2009, any animals that are “potential carriers” will carry a notation on their pedigrees.

Testing details

Although a veterinarian is not required to pull samples when submitting tissue, hair or blood to a testing lab, it is vital to submit the correct sample, the correct form and follow the directions. Each lab has different forms, requires different samples and has different price structures, so breeders should read and follow all instructions carefully.

All the authorized labs’ contact and testing information can be accessed on the Angus Web site.

For more information about testing for arthrogryposis multiplex, visit or call 816-383-5100.

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