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Title: Improving the temperament of Australian cattle and implications for animal welfare
Contributor(s): Walkom, Samuel  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2016
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Abstract: Animals differ in their behavioural response to human interaction. Poor cattle temperament and the behavioural responses of cattle to handling by humans has been associated with losses in enterprise profitability. Breeders are able to improve the temperament and productivity of the herd by selecting on the cattle's behavioural response to human interaction. An increased focus on animal welfare and improved safety of handlers around cattle has brought forth a desire to breed cattle that are less fearful or stressed by human interactions, thus exhibiting a more docile temperament. The Australian beef industry uses docility score and flight time as selection traits to improve the temperament of the national herd. Both traits provide reliable and repeatable measures of temperament. The success of selection for docility in the Limousin breed has allowed seedstock breeders to produce a calmer tempered breed that was previously considered unmarketable due to being considered "stirry and difficult to manage". Genetic correlations for temperament traits with production traits are generally low and indicate that selection to improve temperament can occur without any significant negative impact on other economically important traits including growth, fat, muscle and reproduction. Selection on temperament will further improve the behavioural characteristics of cattle, improving animal welfare, whole farm productivity and handler safety.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Breeding Focus 2016 - Improving Welfare, p. 29-44
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISBN: 9781921597695
Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 070201 Animal Breeding
Field of Research (FoR) 2020: 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830301 Beef Cattle
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100401 Beef cattle
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Editor: Editor(s): Susanne Hermesch & Sonja Dominik
Appears in Collections:Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)
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