One of the featured breakout sessions at the 2016 Dairy Strong Conference gave attendees a look into High Immune Response Technology and Breeding Selection, an exciting, innovative technology that has begun to gain significant momentum in the dairy industry.
The presentation was given by Dr. Bonnie Mallard, PhD, a researcher and professor of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph College of Veterinary Medicine. Mallard has spent over 25 years researching High Immune Response Technology, and has developed and patented her own technology, Immunity+, which is used to identify and select animals with naturally optimized immune responses.
The technology is able to calculate breeding values, the same genetic theory that has been widely and successfully utilized in the dairy industry to enhance production traits, to help select for genetic traits associated with an animal’s immune system and ability to resist disease. Dr. Mallard sat down at Dairy Strong for an interview about how the technology works, the incredible benefits it offers producers, and the potential this technology holds for the future.
“We’ve found through research that the high immune responders, the animals with the best immune response genes, have about half the disease occurrence of average immune responders, which was what we were hoping to accomplish with the technology,” she said, “But we also have found that high responders possess benefits in terms of their reproductive traits, colostrum quality, and they grow faster. There is so much innovation on the horizon of this technology, I don’t think there is a ceiling on it.”
Listen to my full interview with Dr. Mallard:
Interview with Dr. Bonnie Mallard, PhD, University of Guelph
Since 2012, Dr. Mallard’s Immunity+ technology has been marketed and sold by Semex, a global biotechnology company that specializes in dairy and beef genetics. The technology is 30% heritable, with high responding progeny contributing an added $124 per lactation per year in comparison to cows with average immune response.
“Dairy and beef producers are striving for a healthy herd, and being able to identify which sires will be able to sire healthier progeny is truly an economic benefit for them,” said Paul Krueger, Semex Immunity+ Global Brand Manager, during an interview at Dairy Strong. “These cattle will show less disease incidents, they will respond better to treatments, and they’ll allow producers to have an overall higher level of management in their operation.”
Listen to my full interview with Paul here:
Interview with Paul Kruger, Semex