Articles | Volume 44, issue 4
10 Oct 2001
 | 10 Oct 2001

Die Bedeutung von Gesundheitsmerkmalen in der Zucht von Milchrindern

O. Distl

Abstract. Title of the paper: Implications of health traits in breeding of dairy cattle
Genetic improvement of health and fertility traits has gained major importance in dairy cattle breeding. Despite many physiological, immunological and biochemical traits proposed, the epidemiological approach provides an efficient tool to achieve genetic progress. Using datasets from Bavaria, Israel and Sweden heritabilities for liability of disease resistance were estimated. These estimates mainly were in the range of h2 = 1 to 4%. Reaction norm to fertility diseases estimated by using insemination parameters showed much higher heritability estimates of h2 = 10 to 19 %. These analyses demonstrate the large genetic variability in disease resistance, and that the genetic variance within breeds can be efficiently used for breeding highly resistant breeds. In order to make use of the genetic variance for disease resistance, a databank for health traits should be built up for German cattle breeds.