Concepts of animal breeding and genetics

Meat & Livestock Australia · October 9, 2023


Humans have been breeding livestock for many hundreds of years. This module will introduce several of the key concepts that underpin animal breeding and genetics. This includes outlining the factors that influence animal performance, introduce the concept of heritability, and explore what influences the rate of genetic improvement in a breeding program.

Learning objectives

At completion of this module, you will:

  • understand that specific characteristics in animals can be achieved through selective breeding
  • understand that the value of the breeding animal is its genes
  • understand how animal performance is influenced both by genetic (heritable) and environmental (non-heritable) factors
  • understand the factors that influence the rate of genetic improvement
  • understand that genetic improvement is permanent, cumulative and a long-term investment for livestock operations.

About Instructor

Meat & Livestock Australia

MLA’s purpose is to foster the long-term prosperity of the Australian red meat and livestock industry by investing in research and marketing activities. Through it's subsidiary companies, MLA also accelerates innovation across the value chain and delivers the industry’s integrity and on-farm quality assurance programs. Care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in all eLearning modules. However, MLA cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained in the training packages. You should make your own enquiries before making decisions concerning your interests. MLA accepts no liability for any losses incurred if you rely solely on this material and excludes all liability as a result of reliance by any person on such information or advice. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all rights are expressly reserved. Requests for further authorisation should be directed to the Content Manager, PO Box 1961, North Sydney, NSW 2059 or © Meat & Livestock Australia 2020 ABN 39 081 678 364. MLA acknowledges the matching funds provided by the Australian Government to support the research and development detailed in this eLearning module.

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Training package Includes

  • 8 Items
  • 6 Quizzes