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Farm Animal Practice
AI and embryo transfer for genetic improvement in sheep: the current scene
  1. Bill McKelvey

    Bill McKelvey graduated from Glasgow in 1975 and, having spent eight years in practice in Gloucestershire and the Scottish Borders, completed a PhD in reproductive physiology at the Rowett Research Institute in 1986. In 1989, he joined the Scottish Agricultural College to establish the breeding services unit known as Edinburgh Genetics and has been in charge of SAC's veterinary research programme since 1994. In 1997, he took over as head of the Veterinary Science Division and has recently become a vice-principal of SAC.


SCIENTIFICALLY based programmes for the genetic improvement of sheep which combine the objective assessment of body composition with the reproductive technologies of artificial insemination (Al) and multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) are now beginning to make a significant impact on the UK sheep industry. The economic benefits of these techniques, however, require to be weighed against the welfare costs of the procedures involved, and efforts need to be made to improve the available methodologies. This article reviews the current applications of these reproductive technologies within sheep breeding and the ongoing research aimed at improving their efficiency and acceptability.

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