The definition of breeding objectives within any breeding organisation implies the choice of a set of goals reflecting as closely as possible present and future production conditions. Considering the appreciable genetic gains achieved in lean tissue feed conversion, the decline in pork quality and the lack of improvement in reproductive traits, greater attention should now be paid to lean growth, meat quality and reproductive ability. Economic weights given to each goal are usually based on profit equations, derived in a production perspective, but profit of the breeding organisation itself is also to consider. Economic weights incorporating competitive position of each organisation may be derived. Such policies however tend to compromise long-term response. Developing alternative stocks to meet a variety of production systems is a strategy usually applied by private breeding companies. In selecting dam lines, selection for extreme objectives, in terms of relative emphasis of reproduction and production traits, is shown to cover satisfactorily a wide range of economic and genetic situations. Important goals for the future may also be guessed from present technological developments in pig production and breeding. A valuable though rather long-term target would be to improve traits conditioning selection efficiency or application of new technologies such as embryo transfer.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XV. Beef cattle, sheep and pig genetics and breeding, fibre, fur and meat quality., , 383–394, 1990
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