As part of the FeetFirst project (which is co-funded by NZM, Merino Inc and the Ministry for Primary Industries through NZSTX) we have undertaken an evaluation of the Lincoln footrot gene marker test (LFGMT) in collaboration with AGBU and AgResearch.
A summary of the results can be found here. In this document, the relationship between the LFGMT and the incidence and severity of footrot in rams and their progeny is explored.
The positive news for the industry is that the wider FeetFirst project is showing that there is exploitable genetic variation in the resistance of fine-wool sheep to footrot in the New Zealand sheep population. By shifting the focus from a gene marker test to a breeding value, the New Zealand fine-wool industry will soon have a more accurate tool to successfully breed for increasing tolerance to footrot. For more information, contact Dr Mark Ferguson.