Implications of Genotype by Environment Interactions in Dairy Sheep Welfare

Dinu Gavojdian, Szilvia Kusza, András Jávor

Abstract


Small ruminants are the most extensively farmed livestock species in Europe, as a result being extremely exposed to natural hazards which leads to strong interactions between genotype and environment. Aim of the current review was to outline and discuss the main welfare issues and economic implications with regards to the genotype by environment interactions in dairy sheep. Researches concerning the additive genetic effect on milk yield, shown that this accounts only for 10%, while the milk production is 90% influenced by environmental factors, highlighting the major role that management and nutrition play in the dairy production of sheep. Nowadays, dairy sheep breeds (e.g. Eastern Friesian and Lacaune), are being introduced and reared in various countries under an extremely wide range of rearing conditions, without adequate knowledge on their acclimatization to the new specific conditions. It was concluded that a welfare assessment protocol for dairy sheep does not exist up today, moreover, there is a serious lack of data concerning the genetic and environmental factors affecting the welfare status of dairy sheep at farm level under different production systems.

Keywords


animal welfare, genotype by environment interactions, lactating sheep, lameness, mastitis

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Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies publish open access articles under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (read full legal code).


LUCRARI STIINTIFICE ZOOTEHNIE SI BIOTEHNOLOGII (SCIENTIFIC PAPERS ANIMAL SCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGIES)

ISSN print 1841 - 9364
ISSN online 2344 - 4576
ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
(former ISSN 1221-5287, E-ISSN 1841-9364)

PUBLISHER: AGROPRINT Timisoara, Romania
PAPER ACCESS: Full text articles available for free
FREQUENCY: Semiannual
PUBLICATION LANGUAGE: English
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Banat´s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara
Faculty of Animal Science and Biotechnologies
300645, Timişoara, Calea Aradului 119, Romania

E-mail: spasb [at] animalsci-tm.ro
Phone: +40-256-277160, Fax.: +40-256-277110