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Romney High-Index Scheme: iSAGE Project November 2017

The Romney High-Index Scheme (RHIS) members have been involved with an EU project looking at parasitic phenotypes on new and introduced sheep breeds.

The project has been part funded by Innovation for Sustainable Sheep and Goat Production in Europe (iSAGE) and AHDB Beef & Lamb. It has led to the first widespread collection of individual faecal egg counts (FEC) and saliva IgA measurements across the Romney Marsh breed. Over 470 lambs have been successfully sampled over the course of the summer.

Saliva IgA is an immunoglobin found in the saliva of sheep genetically more capable at coping with a parasitic challenge from Teladorsagia circumcincta, an important member of the Strongyles family, which has a higher pathogenicity than many of the other species present in samples.

The pilot project will compare differences in performance and parasitic traits between pure UK Romney’s and those descended from imported New Zealand strains.

This gives the Romney breed a foundation towards the creation of Saliva IgA EBVs. It is hoped that the RHIS members will continue data collection in years to come.

RHIS Members involved:

P H & P E Skinner         – Aragon Flock

A Barr & Son Ltd           – Pivington Flock

H V Langrish                  – Pickney Bush Flock

G L Boulden & Sons      – Ruffins Flock


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About the author

Samuel Boon

Samuel Boon

I am the Manager of Signet Breeding Services, within the AHDB.

Enthusiast on all things genetics to do with sheep and cattle and currently also supporting Bridget Lloyd in running the @RamCompare progeny test with ~18,000 lambs/annum.

I am also involved with the:-

  • Relaunch of Terminal Sire Breeding Programmes (Sheep)
  • AHDB lead for the Welsh Sheep Breeding Project run by HCC - working with Innovis, HCC and Janet Roden
  • Database design and development for this website
  • National Sheep Breeds Survey
  • Development of Carcase Trait EBVs in Beef Cattle
  • Formerly involved with the delivery of the Welsh Sheep Strategy, Northern Upland Sheep Strategy, Suckler Cow Project, Highlands and Islands Sheep Strategy

I can be followed on Twitter @SamBoonBreeding