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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Organizational implications of genomic selection in French dairy cattle and sheep: from diagnosis to a collective action

INRA Prod Anim 27(4) 303-316


1 INRA UMR1248 AGIR, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
2 ENSAT UMR1248 AGIR, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
3 Université de Toulouse INPT UMR1248 AGIR, F-31029 Toulouse, France
4 Université de Toulouse INPT, Ecole d’Ingénieurs de Purpan, UMR1248 AGIR, F-31076 Toulouse, France
5 Institut de l’Elevage, BP42118, F-31321 Castanet-Tolosan, France
6 INRA, UMR1388 GenPhySE, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
7 Université de Toulouse INPT ENSAT, UMR1388 GenPhySE, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
8 Université de Toulouse INPT ENVT, UMR1388 GenPhySE, F-31076 Toulouse, France
9 Université de Toulouse INPT, Ecole d’Ingénieurs de Purpan, UMR1388 GenPhySE, F-31076 Toulouse, France
10 INRA, UMR1313 GABI, F-78352 Jouy-en-Josas, France
11 AgroParisTech, UMR1313 GABI, 16 rue Claude Bernard, F-75321 Paris, France
12 Institut de l’élevage, 149 rue de Bercy, F-75012 Paris, France


After a brief presentation of the historical national organization of breeding activities in France, this article considers the recent political and technical changes in the dairy cattle and sheep industry, more specifically genomic selection. It analyses the organizational implications of this new breeding technique in four areas of breeding activities: i) between research actors and breeding actors, with the development of new forms of public-private partnerships, and the development of private research initiatives, with evolving relations between public research and breeding companies; ii) among breeding actors, with increasing merging of companies and historical actors changing strategies from cooperation to competition; iii) between breeding actors and farmers, due to accelerating data production; iv) in the governance of the breed, due to the development of private breeding criteria questioning the management of the breed as a “common good”. The article details an intervention-research process implemented to help sheep breeding actors face such changes, showing how they anticipate changes to maintain the collective organization of breeding activities and favor cooperation.

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