21 January 2000

Talks may lead to merit comparison worldwide

BEEF breeders may eventually be able to compare the genetic merit of beef bulls used throughout the world if on-going international talks are successful.

While dairy breeders have access to international bull proofs, there is no such scheme for beef bulls, said MLCs beef scientist Duncan Pullar.

"Interbull has set up a committee to look at worldwide harmonisation of beef bull performance figures, and is hoping for cohesive progress."

The current problem is identifying two genetic links between countries to be able to compare bull performance, he said.

"This is the difference between the beef and dairy industries. The beef industry is getting closer to producing international performance figures, but it will be at least two to three years before any figures are available."