Interbull Routine Genetic Evaluation for Direct Longevity

August 2012


The latest test international evaluation for longevity trait took place  is scheduled at the Interbull Centre. Data from twenty one (21) populations were included in this evaluation.

International genetic evaluations for direct longevity trait of bulls from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Sweden, The United States of America, Hungary, Norway and Czech Republic were computed. Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Red Dairy Cattle and Simmental breed data were included in this evaluation.

Changes in national procedures
Changes in the national genetic evaluation of longevity traits are as follows:

DNK (HOL, RDC, JER): Herd reduction check was involved to see whether the missing herd is sold or it is a natural flactuation in herd size. 
IRL (HOL) : According to the changes in the way of handling life span as a correlated trait, there were a number of primarily young bulls with lower EDC. 
ESP (HOL): Because of an update on international pedigree code, some bulls loose their proof. Fewer bulls born in 2007 had proof in the previous run (1204r), especially because data from daughters are provided later in life. 
CHE (BSW) : Many bulls loose herd/daughters/EDCs. As lactations evolve, some records/animals that were used to be included in the longevity evaluation may fail the criteria, which are checked on predicted 305-d lactations. 

No changes in Interbull procedures

Data and method of analysis
Data were national genetic evaluations of AI sampled bulls with at least 10 daughters or 10 EDC (for clinical mastitis and maternal calving traits at least 50 daughters or 50 EDC, and for direct calving traits at least 50 calvings or 50 EDC) in at least 10 herds. Table 1 presents the amount of data included in this Interbull evaluation for all breeds.

National proofs were first de-regressed within country and then analysed jointly with a linear model including the effects of evaluation country, genetic group of bull and bull merit. Heritability estimates used in both the de-regression and international evaluation were as in each country's national evaluation.

Table 2 presents the date of evaluation as supplied by each country in the 01x-proof file.

Estimated genetic parameters and sire standard deviations are shown in APPENDIX I and the corresponding number of common bulls are listed in APPENDIX II.

Scientific literature
The international genetic evaluation procedure is based on international work described in the following scientific publications:

International genetic evaluation computation:

Schaeffer. 1994. J. Dairy Sci. 77:2671-2678
Klei, 1998. Interbull Bulletin 17:3-7

Verification and Genetic trend validation:

Klei et al., 2002. Interbull Bulletin 29:178-182.
Boichard et al., 1995. J. Dairy Sci. 78:431-437

Weighting factors:

Fikse and Banos, 2001. J. Dairy Sci. 84:1759-1767


Sigurdsson and G. Banos. 1995. Acta Agric. Scand. 45:207-219
Jairath et al. 1998. J. Dairy Sci. Vol. 81:550-562

Genetic parameter estimation:

Klei and Weigel, 1998, Interbull Bulletin 17:8-14
Sullivan, 1999. Interbull Bulletin 22:146-148

Post-processing of estimated genetic correlations:

Mark et al., 2003, Interbull Bulletin 30:126-135
Jorjani et al., 2003. J. Dairy Sci. 86:677-679
Genetic correlation estimation procedure

Time edits

Weigel and Banos. 1997. J. Dairy Sci. 80:3425-3430

International reliability estimation

Harris and Johnson. 1998. Interbull Bulletin 17:31-36

Next routine international evaluation
The next routine evaluation of Interbull for production, conformation, udder health, longevity, calving, female fertility and workability traits is scheduled 
for November 2012. Deadline for sending data to the Interbull Centre is Tuesday November 20, 2012, 17:00 CET; confidential distribution of results is targeted for Thursday November 29, 2012, with earliest possible official release of results on December 4, 2012.

Next test international evaluation

The next test run for production, conformation, udder health, longevity, calving, female fertility and workability traits will take place in September 2012. 

Countries planning to introduce changes in their national evaluation procedures and wishing to have them included in the routine Interbull evaluation, should have their data examined in this test run. New data and validation results should be sent to the Interbull Centre no later than September 4, 2012, 17:00 CET.

Results were distributed by the Interbull Centre to designated
representatives in each country. The international evaluation file comprised
international proofs expressed on the base and unit of each country included
in the analysis. Such records readily provide more information on bull
performance in various countries, thereby minimising the need to resort to

At the same time, all recipients of Interbull results are expected to honour
the agreed code of practice, decided by the Interbull Steering Committee,
and only publish international evaluations on their own country scale.
Evaluations expressed on another country scale are confidential and may only
be used internally for research and review purposes.

All recipients are also expected to follow the agreed guidelines for advertising
genetic merit. The guidelines has been distributed to all members and is
available on the Interbull homepage ( under
"Public Area/Publications/Guidelines/Interbull Advertising Guidelines".