UK: New scanning equipment to help beef and sheep producers

An ultrasound scanning service has been boosted by securing access to the latest technology to help beef and sheep producers improve carcase quality.

Signet Breeding Services, which forms part of EBLEX, the English lamb and beef levy payers’ organisation, reached an agreement with Bromley-based Vet Image Solutions to develop its latest SonoScape ultrasound scanner to meet the needs of its sheep and beef scanning business.

Ultrasound scanning provides a key element in the performance recording of sheep and cattle by collecting accurate measurements of muscle and fat deposition in the live animal.

More than 750 of Signet’s clients use the scanning service every year, which has lead to major improvements in carcase quality since its pioneering introduction into the UK in 1987 as the result of levy-funded research.

Samuel Boon, manager of Signet Breeding Services, said: “The genetic potential of British livestock for traits such as growth rate and muscling are the envy of the world. This new equipment is a significant step forward for Signet.

“The images using the new machine are sharper and clearer, making it easier for the technicians to use. SonoScape machines will improve the existing service and may provide some interesting opportunities for further research relating to attributes of the carcase.”

The EBLEX stand at Sheep 2012 will host an ultrasound scanning demonstration using the new equipment. Further information on ultrasound scanning is available from Signet Breeding Services on 024 7647 8829 or emailing