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item Powell, Rex

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The advent of artificial insemination and frozen semen and embryos for dairy cattle opened the door to capitalize on the results of improved genetic evaluations for important traits. One without the other would have had little impact on genetic improvement. AI made movement of genetic material around the world feasible but genetic evaluation systems within countries did not provide the information to made good decisions on which semen to transport. The Food and Agriculture Organization supported a trial involving semen from a random sample of young Holstein bulls from ten countries used on cows in Poland. US bulls performed very well and trial results promoted the use of US genetics at an increased rate in other countries. While that trial provided general guidance on the relative merits of countries, it gave no help in comparing individual bulls from different countries. Formation of the International Bull Evaluation Service (Interbull) Centre in 1991 led to routine genetic evaluations in 1994 that combined data from many nations and returned evaluations on the scale of each country. This further promoted the superiority of US genetics. Now, top bulls in many other countries have largely US pedigrees. Genetic differences between national populations have diminished. Many counties have upgraded their populations such that their top bulls are being marketed in the US. Global marketing of genetics has made it important that Interbull provide guidelines for advertising genetic merit.