19 January 1996

Breed averages under question

USE of breed averages in foreign dam proofs is undervaluing UK genetics, breeder Alan Swale told the conference.

"What is the point of buying the top 1% of animals in the US then being given breed average figures from the ADC. These figures affect the animals proofs for four years," he said.

Mr Swale also questions the great emphasis put on protein in the UK indexes, PIN and ITEM. Bulls were ranked on protein and this was not what the market wanted.

Not one of the big dairies wanted to pay for 3.6% protein milk, he claimed.

Animal Data Centre geneticist Gordon Swanson refuted the claims: "Since 1992, any Holstein Friesian animal bought into the UK had at least its foreign sire proof taken into account. Since 1994, foreign dam proofs have also been used."

This was reported in the Holstein Friesian Journal February 1994 issue and a booklet was also issued.

He claims the UK was the first in the world to incorporate foreign cow information into its evaluation system.