28 February 1997

AI companies resigned to ADC Interbull decision

AI COMPANIES at the Holstein Show last week were resigned about the Animal Data Centres board decision not to adopt Interbull evaluations as official for black-and-white cattle in the UK.

Speaking to the industry at the show, ADC geneticist Gordon Swanson said that, while accepting that Interbull Evaluations are ultimately the way forward, the ADC board is concerned over the changes it is seeing for young bulls from the USA.

"We need to fully understand why these changes have occurred in figures from some countries," said Mr Swanson. "The UK imports about 80% of dairy semen used from around the world so we must be confident all countries are treated equally."

Interbull, ADC and the US Dairy Association are investigating the effect of progeny group size, pedigree information, genetic assocation between countires, and the calculation of reliablity for individual bulls on evaluations.

In the meantime Holstein Friesian bulls will be ranked on direct conversion.

Most AI companies at the show were prepared to accept ADCs reasons for staying with the conversions, but said they would market and select bulls mindful of the effect Interbull evaluations will have on the future rankings of bulls. And the companies were adamant that communications between the ADC and industry must be improved.

Avoncroft sire analyst Angela Taylor said the company was happy to back the ADCs judgement but wanted better consultation in the future – and for the situation to be resolved as quickly as possible.n

Avoncroft sire analyst Angela Taylor: Prepared to back the ADCs judgement but wants better consultation in the future.