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DNA testing turns meat quality dream into reality

Tuesday 8th of April 2014

The long-held dream of guaranteeing the eating quality of every single sheep that comes off his farm is now a reality for Western Australian sheep breeder Dawson Bradford.

Mr Bradford believes genetic testing will help to eventually eliminate variability in meat quality, however its success means doing the hard work now to identify the right breeding stock for the industry.

He is already using DNA testing to identify rams in his flock that possess genes for desirable but hard-to-measure traits such as intra-muscular fat, tenderness and lean meat yield.

"Previously we weren’t able to monitor or record these traits until after slaughter; DNA testing allows us to identify rams when they are young that meet these selection criteria so that we can build up that population up," Mr Bradford said.

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