Abstract

This article examines the controversy over the use of a DNA marker test for Tibial Hemimelia (TH) by North American Shorthorn breeders. The conflict illustrates, first, that tools available to remove defects are not necessarily used to eliminate them from the herds; and, second, that a centuries-old breeding method can adopt twenty-first-century biotechnology to support the historic structure of purebred breeding. Shorthorn breeders attempted to hold their slipping position within the purebred beef cattle world by utilizing biotechnology to re-enforce the nineteenth-century system with its emphasis on pedigree standards and the show system. The situation provides a venue for studying a larger question: How does developing science interface with industry structure and culture when it comes to animal breeding? The subservience of genetics and biotechnology to the dictates of purebred breeding in Shorthorn affairs shows how resilient older practices can be.

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Notes

2. Using Shorthorns to describe a phenomenon larger than themselves is anything but new. The breed has a long history of being employed in the study of cultural, historical, or scientific questions such as evolutionary theory, heredity and genetics, and agricultural practices. When Charles Darwin related the breeding of domestic animals to natural selection, he was influenced by Shorthorn breeding; see Charles Darwin,
The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
, forward by Harriet Ritvo (
1883
; repr.,
Baltimore
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
,
1998
),
124
; see also, C. J. Bajema, ed.,
Artificial Selection and the Development of Evolutionary Theory: Benchmark Papers in Systematic and Evolutionary Biology
4
(
Stroudsburg, PA
:
Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company
,
1982
). Shorthorns were essential in the late 1880s to biometrician Karl Pearson’s theorizing about the nature of heredity; see A. Barrington and K. Pearson,
“On the Inheritance of Coat Color in Cattle. I. Shorthorn Crosses and Pure Shorthorns,”
Biometrica
4
(
1906
):
427
37
. Agricultural college professors in the late nineteenth century saw the breeding of Shorthorns as livestock genetics, and pedigree keeping was a key to that science. In the 1870s the examination of agriculture at the Ontario Agricultural College was on the history of Shorthorns, and revolved around the methods of British breeders Robert and Charles Colling and also Robert Bakewell. See Sessional Papers (hereafter SP) 13, Legislature of Ontario (
1875–1876
):
31
32
; SP 12, Legislature of Ontario (
1877
):
48
. See also Farmer’s Advocate, Jan. 1876, 13; Feb. 1876, 27; Mar. 1876, 46; Dec. 8,
1910
;
1927–28
;
Farming World and Canadian Farm and Home
, Jan. 1906, 161. Evolutionary geneticist Sewall Wright studied Shorthorn pedigrees in the 1920s when he explored the effects of inbreeding on populations. See Sewall Wright,
“Mendelian Analysis of the Pure Breeds of Livestock, Part 1: The Measurement of Inbreeding and Relationship,”
Journal of Heredity
14
, no.
8
(
1923
):
339
48
; Sewall Wright,
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Journal of Heredity
14
, no.
9
(
1923
):
405
22
; Sewall Wright,
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Journal of Animal Science
46
, no.
5
(
1978
):
1192–1200
. The animals’ roan color interested early farmers from a hereditary point of view, and with the rise of genetics, Mendelians studied dominant/recessive characteristics of roaning in Shorthorns. See
OAC Review
, Oct. 1904, 13; H. H. Laughlin,
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American Naturalist
45
, no.
540
(
1911
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705
42
; A. D. B. Smith,
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16
, no.
3
(
1925
):
73
84
; Edward N. Wentworth,
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American Breeders’ Magazine
4
, no.
4
(
1913
):
202
208
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, no.
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(
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22
36
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70
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,
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(
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(
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
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). Purebred breeding developed within the Shorthorn breed, making their historical past important for any study that focuses on the nature of purebred breeding itself, and/or its cultural impact on animal breeding.
3. B. K. Whitlock, L. Kaiser, and H. S. Maxwell,
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(Aug.
2008
):
539
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(
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393
418
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47
, no.
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(
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):
110
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22
(
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):
401
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Journal of Heredity
41
, no.
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(
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243
45
.
4. K. P. Bovard and L. N. Hazel,
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, no.
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(
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.
5. Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
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539
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, no.
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(
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,
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Journal of Heredity
42
, no.
3
(
1951
):
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; P. W. Gregory et al.,
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Journal of Animal Science
10
, no.
4
(
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923
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52
, no.
3
(
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):
129
32
; Marlowe,
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454
,
459
.
6. O. F. Pahnish, E. B. Stanley, and C. E. Safley,
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Journal of Animal Science
14
, no.
1
(
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):
200
; L. E. Johnson, G. S. Harshfield, and W. McCone,
“Dwarfism: An Hereditary Defect in Beef Cattle,”
Journal of Heredity
41
, no.
7
(
1950
):
177
81
.
7. Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
“Heritable Bovine Fetal Abnormalities,”
539
40
.
8.
Ibid.
,
539
.
9. Baker, Blunn, and Oloufa,
“Stumpy,”
243
45
.
10. Nicholas Russell,
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(
Cambridge
:
Cambridge University Press
,
1986
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19
,
95
96
; W. Vamplew,
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(
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,
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):
78
80
; Roger Longrigg,
The History of Horse Racing
(
London
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MacMillan Ltd.
,
1972
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91
92
; Mike Huggins,
Flat Racing and British Society, 1790–1914
(
London
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Frank Cass
,
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,
5
; and Margaret E. Derry,
Horses in Society: A Story of Animal Breeding and Marketing Culture, 1800–1950
(
Toronto
:
University of Toronto Press
,
2006
),
6
; and Derry,
Masterminding Nature
,
15
16
.
11. Charles S. Plumb,
“Felix Renick, Pioneer,”
Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications
33
, no.
1
(
1924
):
3
66
; Edith H. Whetham,
“The Trade in Pedigree Livestock, 1850–1910,”
Agricultural History Review
27
, no.
1
(
1979
):
47
45
; Alvin H. Sanders,
Short-Horn Cattle: A Series of Historical Sketches, Memoirs and Records of the Breed and its Development in the United States and Canada
(
Chicago
:
Sanders Publishing Co.
,
1900
); and Alvin H. Sanders,
Short-Horn Cattle
(
Chicago
:
Sanders Publishing Co.
,
1918
):
199
202
; Paul C. Henlein,
“Cattle Driving from the Ohio Valley, 1800–1850,”
Agricultural History
28
, no.
2
(
1954
):
94
; Paul C. Henlein,
“Shifting Range-Feeding Patterns in the Ohio Valley before 1860,”
Agricultural History
31
, no.
1
(
1957
):
1
11
; Paul C. Henlein,
“Cattle Kingdom in the Ohio Valley: The Beef Cattle Industry in the Ohio Valley, 1783–1860”
(PhD diss.,
University of Wisconsin
,
1957
). See also
Proceedings of the Fourth Convention of the American Association of Breeders of Short-Horns
(
Toronto
:
Globe Printing Company
,
1875
).
12. Cited in Duncan Marshall,
Shorthorn Cattle in Canada
(Dominion Shorthorn Breeders’ Association,
1932
),
240
; Sanders,
Short-Horn Cattle
(
1918
),
510
,
712
13
,
720
; SP 26, Legislature of Ontario (
1897
):
127
.
13.
Farmer’s Advocate
, Feb. 1876,
27
.
14. SP 23, Legislature of Ontario (
1903
):
104
.
15. Sanders,
Short-Horn Cattle
(
1918
):
71
72
.
16. Derry,
Bred for Perfection
,
38
42
; Derry,
Ontario’s Cattle Kingdom
; SP 24, Legislature of Ontario (
1905
):
19
; Marshall,
Shorthorn Cattle in Canada
,
602
.
17. Sanders,
Short-Horn Cattle
(
1918
),
803
805
.
18. On the role of money and elitism, see SP 1, Legislature of Ontario (
1874
):
202
;
Farmer’s Advocate
, Dec. 1873, 188; SP 28, Legislature of Ontario (
1896
):
169
; SP 1, Legislature of Ontario (
1875–1876
):
165
; SP 42, Legislature of Ontario (
1914
):
57
;
OAC Review
, June 1919,
468
;
Live-Stock and Farm Journal
, Oct. 1889,
262
.
19. Kathy Voth,
“From Big to Small to Big to Small: Part 2 of a Pictorial History of Cattle Changes over the Years,”
On Pasture
, July 11, 2016,
1
2
(based on the research of Harlan Ritchie), http://onpasture.com/2016/07/11/from-big-to-small-to-big-to-small-part-2-of-a-pictorial-history-of-cattle-changes-over-the-years (Accessed July 13,
2016
).
20. See, for example, the address given by C. F. Curtiss, Director and Professor of Agriculture at the State Agricultural College and Experimental Farm, Ames, Iowa to the Superintendent of Farmer Institutes of Ontario in 1897; C. F. Curtiss,
“The Fundamental Points of Practical Excellence in Beef Cattle,”
SP 23, Legislature of Ontario (
1897
):
80
85
. For comments concerning the commonality of vision in the American and Canadian breeding of Shorthorns, see SP 4, Legislature of Ontario (
1877
):
188
.
21. Sanders,
Short-Horn Cattle
(
1918
),
785
.
22. Derry,
Ontario’s Cattle Kingdom
,
22
;
Directories of the Breeders of Pure Bred Stock of the Dominion of Canada, Dairy Branch, Live Stock Division
(
Ottawa
:
Department of Agriculture
,
1901–1920
). In Ontario, for example, there were seventeen purebreds per one thousand head of cattle, and in 1921 there were fifty-five per one thousand. See
Census of Canada 1911
, vol.
4
,
410
,
418
;
Census of Canada 1921
, vol.
5
, xc, 64. The situation in the United States was similar and the purebred industries of both countries were closely linked from at least the 1870s.
23. Grant MacEwan,
Highlights of Shorthorn History
(
Winnipeg
:
Hignell Printing
,
1982
),
197
99
.
24. See Derry,
Masterminding Nature
,
40
92
; Margaret E. Derry,
“Chicken Breeding: The Complex Transition from Traditional to Genetic Methods in the United States,”
in
Cultivating Knowledge: New Perspectives on the History of the Life Sciences and Agriculture
, eds. Sharon Kingsland and Denise Phillips (
Springer
,
2015
),
371
93
; Margaret E. Derry,
Art and Science in Breeding: Creating Better Chickens
(
Toronto
:
University of Toronto Press
,
2013
):
83
85
,
143
44
; Roger Horowitz,
“Making the Chicken of Tomorrow: Reworking Poultry as Commodities and as Creatures, 1945–1990,”
in
Industrializing Organisms: Introducing Evolutionary History
, eds. by Susan R. Schrepfer and Philip Scranton (
New York
:
Routledge
,
2004
); Glenn E. Bugos,
“Intellectual Property Protection in the American Chicken-Breeding Industry,”
Business History Review
66
, no.
1
(
1992
):
127
68
. See also Don C. Warren,
“A Half Century of Advances in the Genetics and Breeding Improvement of Poultry,”
Poultry Science
37
, no.
1
(
1958
):
3
20
; G. Shull,
“What is Heterosis?,”
Genetics
33
, no.
5
(
1948
):
439
46
; I. Michael Lerner,
The Genetic Basis for Selection
(
New York
:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
,
1958
); William G. Hill, ed.,
Quantitative Genetics: Part I, Explanation and Analysis of Continuous Variation
(
New York
:
Van Nostrand Reinhold Company
,
1984
); William G. Hill, Quantitative Genetics: Part II, Selection (
New York
:
Van Nostrand Reinhold Company
,
1984
); and B. Walsh,
“Quantitative Genetics, Version 3.0: Where Have We Gone Since 1987 and Where Are We Headed?,”
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136
, no.
2
(
2009
):
213
23
; A. B. Chapman, ed.,
General and Quantitative Genetics
(
Amsterdam
:
Elsevier Science Publishers
,
1985
); Ralph E. Comstock,
Quantitative Genetics with Special Reference to Plant and Animal Breeding
(
Ames
:
Iowa State University Press
,
1996
); James F. Crow,
Basic Concepts in Population, Quantitative, and Evolutionary Genetics
(
New York
:
W. H. Freeman and Company
,
1986
); and E. P. Cunningham,
Quantitative Genetic Theory and Livestock Improvement
(
Armidale, NSW
:
University of New England
,
1979
).
25. See Charolais Cattle (Import), HC Deb, Apr. 10, 1963, vol.
675
, cc1437-48, http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1963/apr/10/charolais-cattle-import (Accessed Oct. 30,
2015
); and Early Years of Simmental in North America, http://simmental-sbl.blogspot.ca/ (Accessed Oct. 30,
2015
).
26. Don Vaniman, Exec. Sect. of the American Simmental Association,
Simmental Shield
, Aug. 1974,
119
22
.
27. Voth,
“From Big to Small to Big to Small: Part 2,”
13
; Kathy Voth,
“From Big to Small to Big to Small: Part 3 of a Pictorial History of Cattle Changes over the Years,”
On Pasture
, July 18, 2016, 10–11, http://onpasture.com/2016/07/18/from-big-to-small-to-big-to-small-part-3-of-a-pictorial-history-of-cattle-over-the-years/ (Accessed July 18,
2016
).
28. Voth,
“From Big to Small to Big to Small: Part 3,”
1
.
30. Plumb,
“Felix Renick, Pioneer,”
21
22
,
28
30
,
35
41
; Henlein,
“Cattle Driving from the Ohio Valley, 1800–1850,”
94
; Henlein,
“Shifting Range-Feeding Patterns in the Ohio Valley before 1860,”
1
11
; Henlein,
“Cattle Kingdom in the Ohio Valley,”
93
.
36.
Breeder’s Gazette
, Oct. 18,
1883
,
530
. For more on the story of American importation of Percherons, see Derry,
Horses in Society
,
69
76
.
40. G. B. Young,
“A Case of Tibial Hemimelia in Cattle,”
The British Veterinary Journal
107
(
1951
):
23
28
; S. A. Ojo et al.,
“Tibial Hemimelia in Galloway Calves,”
Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association
165
(
1974
):
548
50
; http://www.steerplanet.com/bb/the-bigshow/nw-bull-bracket-rnd1-gizmo-35-vs-jakes-proud-jazz-34/45/ (Accessed May 10,
2015
).
41. Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
“Heritable Bovine Fetal Abnormalities,”
534
35
; J. M. Lapointe, S. Lachance, and D. J. Steffen,
“Tibial Hemimelia, Meningocele, and Abdominal Hernia in Shorthorn Cattle,”
Veterinary Pathology
37
, no.
5
(
2000
):
508
11
; D. L. Pollock et al.,
“Pregnancy Termination in the Control of Tibial Hemimelia Syndrome in Galloway Cattle,”
Veterinary Record
104
(
1979
):
258
60
; Ojo et al.,
“Tibial Hemimelia in Galloway Calves,”
548
50
; B. Brenig et al.,
“A 20bp Duplication in Exon 2 of the Aristaless-Like Homeobox 4 Gene (ALX4) Is the Candidate Causative Mutation for Tibial Hemimelia Syndrome in Galloway Cattle,”
PlosOne
10
, no.
6
(June
2015
):
11
,
13
.
42. Brenig et al.,
“A 20bp Duplication,”
1
,
13
; Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
“Heritable Bovine Fetal Abnormalities,”
535
.
43. Brenig, et al.,
“A 20bp Duplication,”
13
; Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
“Heritable Bovine Fetal Abnormalities,”
546
.
44. Shadybrook Farm correspondence with the author, May and June 2015.
45. Lapointe, Lachance, and Steffen,
“Tibial Hemimelia,”
508
11
. The TH situation in Shorthorns soon proved to be more complicated. Descendents of TKA Outcast, a bull born in 2001, could inherit a form of deletion much larger than the Improver one. The Outcast one overlapped the Improver deletion in gene ALX4 and involved three other genes. Calves are affected when they inherit both the Improver and the Outcast deletion. Known as “compound heterozygotes,” these calves are defective in the same way as calves homozygous for the Improver deletion. The Outcast mutation is, however, rare. See Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
“Heritable Bovine Fetal Abnormalities,”
546
.
47.
Ibid.
48. Star Search III catalog, 2005, printed in Shorthorn Country, Aug. 2005.
49. Star Search IV catalog, 2006, printed in Shorthorn Country, Aug. 2006; Star Search V, 2007, printed in Shorthorn Country, Aug. 2007; Star Search VI, 2008, printed in Shorthorn Country, Aug. 2008.
50. Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
“Heritable Bovine Fetal Abnormalities,”
546
.
51. For example, see RC Show Cattle catalog for the 22nd Early Bird Auction, 2014.
52. Voth,
“From Big to Small to Big to Small: Part 3,”
4
,
12
.
53. Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
“Heritable Bovine Fetal Abnormalities,”
546
.
54. Voth,
“From Big to Small to Big to Small: Part 3,”
4
,
12
,
16
17
.
56. Star Search XI catalog, 2013, http://issuu.com/ranchhousedesigns/docs/cates-farms-catalog-2013 (Accessed Oct. 26,
2017
); Star Search XII catalog, 2014, http://issuu.com/ranchhousedesigns/docs/2014salecatalog_8f410398f17f7a (Accessed Oct. 26,
2017
).
64. J. Beever,
“Tibial Hemimelia (TH) and Pulmonary Hypoplasia with Anasarca (PHA): What are they, where are they and how are they relevant?”
Nov. 2, 2006, https://studylib.net/doc/17772692/tibial-hemimelia–th–and-pulmonary-hypoplasia-with-anasa; Whitlock, Kaiser, and Maxwell,
“Heritable Bovine Fetal Abnormalities,”
546
;
Top Stock Magazine
, Mar. 2016,
5
.
70. See, for example,
“The AKC and Dog Breeders: Partners in Crime,”
PETA, http://www.peta.org/issues/companion-animal-issues/companion-animals-factsheets/akc-dog-breeders-partners-crime/ (Accessed Sept. 15,
2014
); and “Cows Used for Food,” PETA, http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/cows/ (Accessed Sept. 15,
2014
).
71. Beef Shorthorn Society TH Policy, http://www.beefshorthorn.org/index.php/the-breed/beefshorthorn/policy-regarding-th (Accessed Oct. 3,
2015
).