14 April 2000

Independent dairy herd database fillip

THE ideal of an independent national dairy herd database, controlled by producers, is now in its embryo stage, according to Holstein UK and Ireland chief executive David Hewitt.

"Dairy farmers are fed up with their fate being controlled by big business as the current direct action is showing.

"It is not acceptable for any commercial organisation to control the industrys information and this vision must be shared by all organisations participating in the database initiative."

He hopes that an alliance between HUKI and Livestock Services UK, announced this week, will integrate milk records and ancestry information in a single database. This should develop into a health and fertility database as it progresses, he says.

The service will be run as an industry resource, combining and disseminating information. It will use new technology and the internet to improve the accuracy and accessibility of information, adds Mr Hewitt.

"Its a genuine attempt to get the industry together, but it is at an early stage. We will be inviting other breed societies and milk recording organisations to join this venture, but want it to be farmer controlled." &#42