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item Powell, Rex

Submitted to: Beef Improvement Federation Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: International genetic evaluation for beef traits is largely still in the discussion stage, although there are small projects underway. The developmental process should benefit from information on the experiences from dairy. Serious interest in comparing international dairy genetics goes back more than two decades. The formation of the International Bull Evaluation Service (Interbull) in 1983 led to establishment of the Interbull Centre (Uppsala, Sweden) in 1991. Until then, it had been an unstaffed organization to facilitate the exchange of information regarding comparison of national data. Beginning with four countries and a basic procedure in 1994, the Centre's user-pay service of international genetic evaluation for milk, fat, and protein has grown to a rigorous system for 6 breeds and 25 countries by November 1999. Recent expansions are to four evaluation runs annually (versus two) and conformation evaluations for Holsteins. Important Interbull experiences include a board of directors with wide geographical representation, a permanent Centre office and staff, importance of cooperative research projects and subcontracting, and a code of conduct to guide use of results. Challenges for a parallel beef evaluation project will be genetic connections between populations, harmonization of trait definitions, and estimation of genetic correlations among national traits. Communication among members, directors, and staff are critical. While scientific issues are far from trivial, political and territorial problems may be more difficult to solve.