Interbull Routine Genetic Evaluation for Udder Health Traits

January 2009


International genetic evaluations for milk somatic cell and clinical mastitis of bulls from Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, The United States of America, Israel, Italy, Australia, Hungary, Belgium, Japan, Spain, Rep. South Africa New Zealand and Ireland were computed in this evaluation. Red Dairy Cattle, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey and Simmental breed data
were included.

Changes in national data

* EST HOL, RDC All bulls included in the evaluation
* USA all breeds Improved best prediction software and correlations used to calculate SCS lactation records
* ITA HOL DIM and a four seasons effect have been included in the model.
* NOR RDC Computed EDC using Pete Sullivans model
* CHE HOL IDs of Red&White bulls have now identified with RED instead of HOL.
* CAN all breeds Adjustment for pregnancy and a small change in contemporary group definition.
* GBR JER, RDC Inclusion of a records from Jersey Island (previously not submitted to Interbull) with those from the mainland (previously submitted to Interbull). Until now Jersey evaluations were based only on mainland daughter records and bulls from the island that have daughters already on the Island but used on the mainland were treated as foreign bulls and thus coded with status '21'.The merging of both data sets means that these bulls are now coded '12' and they are no longer considered foreign bulls. Changes for RDC refer to inclusion of animals with pedigree status X.
* NLD all breeds Change of database for Flemish data

Changes in Interbull procedures

Data and method of analysis

Data were national genetic evaluations of AI sampled bulls with daughters in at least 10 herds. For clinical mastitis information to be included, an additional requirement was that bulls had to have at least 50 daughters. Table 1 presents the amount of data included in this Interbull evaluation. Table 2, table 3 and table 4 gives heritabilities and some additional information on national evaluations as provided by the participating countries.

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

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 and table 3).

Ancestor-bulls without own proofs were traced back two generations from the oldest bulls with proofs in order to increase across country connections and account for the effect of selection.

Genetic groups were defined according to unidentified parents by national origin, breed and birth year of the bull and path of selection (sire, maternal grand-sire, maternal grand-dam). Birth year grouping was by 1-5 year periods. Smaller groups (consisting of less than 30 bulls) were combined.

International genetic evaluations were computed using effective daughter contributions (EDC) as weighting factors.

For each breed, two separate international genetic evaluations were computed. The first included milk somatic cell de-regressed proofs from individual countries. The second included de-regressed proofs for clinical mastitis as a direct trait from countries that made this information available and milk somatic cell de- egressed proofs from all other countries. Note that the second evaluation was not carried out for BSW and GUE since none of the participating countries provided clinical mastitis information.

Publication of Interbull evaluations

Test evaluation results are meant for review purposes only and should not be published

Genetic correlation estimation procedure


Next routine international evaluation

The next routine international evaluation for dairy production, udder health conformation, longevity,calving traits (BSW, Holstein, RDC), female fertility and workability is scheduled for April 2009. New data for the April routine run should reach the Interbull Centre not later than Tuesday March 24, 2009, 17:00 Central European Time (CET); in any case, the most recently received data will be considered. The target time for distribution of results for internal review to designated representatives, who have signed a confidentiality agreement with the Centre, is Thursday April 2, 2009. Official release date of the results is targeted to be Tuesday April 7, 2009.

Next test international evaluation

The next test international evaluation for dairy production, conformation, udder health, longevity and calving traits (Red dairy cattle breeds, Brown Swiss, Holstein), female fertility and workability traits is scheduled for May 2009. Countries wishing to enter the system for the first time or planning to submit new information (modified national evaluation procedure,new breeds etc) for following routine evaluations must have their data tested in this test-run.

Deadline for sending data and validation results to the Interbull Centre for the May 2009 test run is April 28, 2009 at 17:00 CET.

Means of result distribution from the Interbull Centre

Electronic exchange of data is probably more efficient than anything else. Currently most countries in the service have established internet connections and receive international evaluation results on the day of their release.  Subscribers to the service that do not already has this option are encouraged to consider it and establish an internet connection and ftp account. When such accounts are available, please provide their specifications to the Interbull Centre. Until then, data will be delivered on CD-ROM's.

For more information about the international genetic evaluation service please contact the Interbull Centre: address: SLU Box 7023, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden; fax: +46-18-672648;

e-mail: Phone: +46-18-672098   +46-18-671974   +46-18-671955 +46-18-672438 +46-18-671964   +46-18-671975 +46-18-671976 +46-18-671968

Please use for all communication regarding Interbull services.