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Abstract

In genetic improvement programs, candidates for breeders are ranked by the profitability of their offspring, expressed as a weighted sum of the genetic gain from selection. In this paper, we estimate the economic values of a genetic improvement program for Australian farmed saltwater crocodiles. A bioeconomic profit function for a representative breeding pair is used to determine the optimal slaughter age following genetic improvement in each selection objective. The results indicate that estimated farm profitability increases by nearly # A111 for a 1-week reduction in juvenile slaughter age, # A78 for a 1 per cent increase in the proportion of first-grade skins produced, and # A33 for an increase in the number of viable hatchlings per clutch. The implications of the analysis for the Australian crocodile industry and the limitations of the research are explored.

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