Welcome to Website of Institute of Animal Science!

Institute of Animal Science (IAS) Prague – Uhříněves is a public research institution founded by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.

Since its foundation in 1951, the Institute has been a centre of research into biological and bio-technological basis of animal science.

IAS carries out basic and applied research focusing on innovation and the practical use of knowledge in animal science. Eight research departments perform research in the fields of animal genetics and breeding, bio-technology and reproduction, nutrition, quality of products, animal ethology and welfare, breeding technology, herd management and production economy.

In addition to basic and applied research, IAS carries out other expert activities. One of the most significant is the implementation of the National Programme for Conservation and Utilization of Farm Animal Genetic Resources. In 2016, the IAS was appointed as the National Centre for Genetic Resources to coordinate and implement the National Programme, along with many stakeholders. The Institute has also provided for the activity of the Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition and was entrusted by the Ministry of Agriculture to represent the Czech Republic in the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP). IAS provides professional training on classification of swine and cattle carcasses according to SEUROP, under a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture.

 

Genetic parameters of longevity for improving profitability of beef cattle

The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for longevity and assess the suitability of using these selection criteria to improve the genetic merit of the beef cattle population of the Czech Republic. The performance record database, which contains records of 363,000 beef cattle animals of 19 breeds and their crosses, was used. The populations of Charolais and Aberdeen Angus were large enough that the genetic parameter estimations and all analyses were done for these breeds separately. Two similar approaches of longevity definition based on probabilities were considered as follows: productive longevity (PL), which is the number of calvings at target ages of 78, 90, 150, and 160 mo, and longevity (L), which is based on the probabilities of cow reappearance in the next parity. A multibreed single-trait animal model for L and a multitrait animal model for combinations of 78/150 and 90/160 mo for PL were used. Specific combinations of months were established based on the analysis and represented the critical culling rates in the studied population. The high genetic correlations (0.88-0.95) of the combination 90/160 suggested that the PL at 160 mo of age can be predicted on the basis of the value at 90 mo, which will make earlier selection possible. Combination 78/150 is less efficient in the Czech population of beef cattle due to the lower correlations (0.79-0.93) between traits. The estimated heritabilities were low for both traits (below 0.14), but the additive genetic variance was sufficient for identifying animals with high genetic merit.

Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition                                                                                                                       

The Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition was established in 2002 as an advisory body of the food safety coordination group. Its main task is to prepare scientific studies, offer expert views, and prepare proposals for measures ensuring safety throughout the entire chain of food and feed production.

CURRENT PROJECTS

The fattening of entire male boars as an economically and ethically acceptable option to resolve the ban or restriction on surgical castration

The aim of the project is to offer pig breeders the practical possibilities of mitigating or eliminating the operational and economic impacts of the restriction and prohibition of surgical castration of the piglets and introducing to farmers validated alternatives to the production of pancakes corresponding to the current trend in a number of European Union countries. The project should provide the user with the knowledge, facts and methodologies leading to a successful adaptation to the changing conditions of the European pigmeat market related to restrictions in the field of surgical castration of the male piglets.

New approaches for the preservation of endangered livestock populations

Creating effective tools for selecting individuals into supported populations of genetic resources (GR)based on a combination of available genealogical information and molecular-genetic methods to increase efficiency of the National program for genetic resources to support implementation of the EU Common Agricultural Policy in the field of agro-biodiversity Development of methodology for the selection of individuals for the cryoprogram Description of optimal methodology for semen collection, cryopreseand its own insemination for selected animals’ species engaged into the genetic resource Developing a new method of qualitative evaluation of sperm Practical testing of the new procedure of interspecific ICSI and verification of its utilization

Creation of a reference population and development of methods for estimating genomic breeding values of pig traits included into the Czech National Breeding Program

The aim of the present project is to create a reference population of animals needed for a reliable estimation of genomic breeding values (GEPH) of traits. Subsequently, to develop a complex system, methods and computer programs for the evaluation of molecular-genetic markers and to determine the GEPH for population of pigs included into the Czech National Breeding Program. Another objective is to evaluate the genetic variability of population based on molecular-genetic information and the possibility to apply the genomic selection for health and meat quality traits of pigs.

PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES

SERVICES AND APPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICAL USE

EXPERT REPORTS

Preparation of analyses, studies and research on individual demand

CONTRACT RESEARCH

Contract research following the partners’ assignment

SEUROP

Training courses for cattle and pig carcass classifiers.

ECONOMIC ANALYSES

ECOWEIGHT, FarmProfit, Forecasting the Structure of Dairy Cattle Herd, Forecasting the structure of dairy cattle herd

CONSULTANCY

Active consultancy for the breeders of dairy cattle, beef cattle, goats and sheep, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses and cervids.

EXPERT SEMINARS

Invited lectures for breeders, students and agricultural business staff on specific topics