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Computed Tomography

CT provides a welfare friendly way of assessing the total muscle, fat and bone yield in a live sheep. This near perfect predictor of carcase composition can also be used to measure the muscling in different parts of the carcase, such as the rib, loin and gigot.

Why CT scan your lambs?

  • CT scanning will increase the accuracy of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) produced for growth and carcase traits.
  • Where CT measures prove an individual or family to be genetically superior their indexes and EBVs will increase.
  • CT images can be used to assist the marketing of recorded rams.

Computed Tomography

Information about CT Scanning

Breeding for Gigot Shape

Information about the Gigot Muscularity EBV

New EBVs from CT Scanning

Measuring spine length and IMF%

CT Scanning Dates and Locations for 2024

18th - 19th April    Edinburgh
25 - 26th April Stratford
13th -15th May Edinburgh
11th - 13th June  Edinburgh
27th -28th June  Stratford
8th - 10th July  Edinburgh
6th - 8th August    Edinburgh
20th - 21st August Aberystwyth
18th - 19th September Edinburgh
30th September - 3rd October Edinburgh

If any breeders are looking to scan their lambs earlier at Edinburgh please contact Kirsty to discuss other dates. 

Please note that the mobile scanner will be provisionally booked for these dates but, as usual, we need to have a minimum of 100 lambs over 2 days for each scanning session with the mobile scanner. Numbers at Edinburgh are more flexible. Please note, any eligible breed can be scanned on any of the dates above providing SRUC is notified in advance. Contact Kirsty McLean to enquire Email: [email protected]

CT Scan Charges

CT scan charges are normally subsidised by the relevant bodies in England and Scotland.

Unsubsidised charges are as follows:

  • Edinburgh – £85/lamb
  • Mobile Site – £115/lamb

Lambs withdrawn within 10 days of the scan date will be charged at the full unsubsidised rate.

AHDB funding in England in 2024

AHDB are keen to support performance recording flocks based in England that wish to use SRUC’s CT scanning service.

AHDB will provide a support payment to SRUC of £55/lamb to support CT scanning services. Breeders can chose to take their lambs to Edinburgh or go to one of the mobile venues set up by SRUC.

Eligibility for CT support is as follows:

  • Funding is only available for ram lambs
  • Each lamb must be fully performance recorded (with an 8 week and scan weight held on file) and with known parents
  • Breeders must send a minimum of 5 ram lambs per flock (with a selection of sires represented); funding is limited to a strict maximum of 8 lambs per flock.
  • Funding in 2024 will be restricted to the following breeds; Beltex, Blue Texel, Charollais, Dutch Spotted, Hampshire Down, Meatlinc, Shropshire, Southdown, Suffolk and Texel
  • Breeders must be based in England

AHDB support the genotyping of CT scanned lambs in Signet recorded flocks

All CT scanned lambs coming from Signet recorded flocks must be genotyped (using a 50K genotype) to build our bank of genotypes for research purposes.

AHDB will support breeders in getting this done, including the provision of additional funding towards genotyping costs.

  •  For Charollais breeders, Suffolk and Hampshire Down breeders, please genotype your sheep through your Breed Society; up to £24/sample (incl. VAT) will be provided to contribute towards genotyping costs. The funding of this work will be administered through your Breed Society.
  • For other breeds, unless breeders ask to use alternative methods of blood/tissue sampling, we will ask the CT unit to take nasal swabs at CT scanning time. AHDB will decide which animals they wish to genotype and where genotyped, AHDB will cover the genotyping cost for these animals.
  • There is no requirement for Texel sheep to be genotyped.

AHDB funded genotypes will be shared with Breed Societies where data sharing agreements are in place and may represent a cost saving for those breeders that are required to genotype potential stock rams. Please contact Signet if you have any queries regarding genotyping services.

QMS funding in Scotland in 2024

In 2024 QMS will pay for 50% of the CT cost per ram lamb with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15 lambs per flock/business. The breeders must be based in Scotland.

HCC funding in Wales in 2024

CT scanning is an important tool for the improvement of terminal sires. HCC have supported breeders in Wales to CT scan their lambs for many years, but unfortunately this year (due to budgetary constraints), this is not possible for 2024. AHDB and QMS continue to fund CT scanning for breeders in England and Scotland, extending their financial commitment this year to include the genotyping of these animals to create a wider industry benefit for all ram breeders.

The SRUC CT unit are more than happy to scan additional lambs for any flock, so please do discuss your requirements with Kirsty McLean; email: [email protected] or telephone: 0131 535 3250 / 3251

Are your lambs eligible for CT scanning and the relevant subsidy?

  • A minimum of 5 lambs from each flock is required to allow evaluations to be as accurate as possible.
  • Only male lambs are eligible for subsidy but we are happy to scan both males and females
  • Lambs must be starved for a minimum of 4 hours before scanning
  • Ideally lambs should be back-fat scanned before they come for CT and a selection of sires should be represented in the group of lambs you bring for CT scanning.
  • Lambs should be around 40kg weight at CT
  • Mobile sites have been booked for a minimum of 2 days at each session. We must have 50 lambs per day, booked in for scanning, to enable a session to go ahead
  • Lambs withdrawn within 10 days of the scan date will be charged at the full unsubsidised rate

To book your place, or to enquire about CT scanning your lambs, contact Kirsty McLean

Tel: 0131 535 3250 / 3251  Email: [email protected]

Click here to read the latest leaflet from SRUC detailing the CT scanning services they offer both in Edinburgh and with their new mobile scanning unit.