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Executive Summary May- August 2017

May - August 2017

From 25 to 28 August 2017 the Interbull Meeting was held in Tallinn, Estonia in conjunction with the 68th meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP). This document contains a summary of the relevant information and decisions of this Meeting, as well as of other meetings that were held during May-August 2017.

2017 Interbull Meeting in Tallin, Estonia

The Interbull Technical Committee, Steering Committee and Scientific Advisory Committee met during the Interbull meeting. The Interbull Open Meeting and Business Meetings were held on 26 and 27 August, while on 28 August two joint Interbull-EAAP scientific sessions were organised. The Open and joint meetings addressed:

  1. Impact of genomic pre-selection on N-GES and I-GES (MACE).
  2. Model choice & Validation of GES in the genomic era

  3. Integration of new phenotypes/initiatives into (inter)national genetic/genomic evaluations
  4. Managing genetic diversity in cattle in the era of genomic selection
  5. Genetic defects in cattle – identification, finding the mutation and managing it in breeding plans.

Interbull Chair Reinhard Reents welcomed more than 150 participants from 28 countries to the Interbull meeting and more than 300 for the joint sessions with EAAP. The 2016-2017 Interbull Centre Activity Report was presented by Toine Roozen and Hossein Jorjani, respectively Director and Service Manager of the Interbull Centre. This covered organisational structure, personnel, service and operations, research and development and work plans in relation to Interbull, Interbeef and GenoEx. Toine Roozen also presented the Financial Report. These reports are available at www.interbull.org/ib/itbcreports, while presentations are available online for the Business Meeting (www.interbull.org/ib/bm_tallinn_2017) and the Open Meeting and joint sessions (www.interbull.org/ib/presentation_tallinn_2017).

Interbull Governance

Steering Committee membership During the Interbull Business Meeting on 27 August 2017, the following 4 candidates were proposed as Interbull Steering Committee members:

The proposed candidates were endorsed by the Interbull Business Meeting, and subsequently also by the ICAR Board at its meeting on 29 August 2017. Gordon Doak will replace Marjorie Faust who has been a valued SC member since 2009, and who has been instrumental in establishing the Interbull Annual meetings in conjunction with the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA). We like to thank Marjorie for her contributions and welcome Gordon to the SC.

European Union Reference Centre

As a result of the new EU Animal Breeding Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/1012), the European Commission issued a call for the selection and designation of a European Union Reference Centre (EURC) responsible for the scientific and technical contribution to the harmonisation and improvement of the methods of performance testing and genetic evaluation of purebred breeding animals of the bovine species in January 2017. Following an application, review and selection process, the Swedish proposal by the Swedish Board of Agriculture (“Jordbruksverket”) and the Interbull Centre was selected: The Interbull Centre shall assume its role as the EURC on 1 November 2018, at the same time as the new EU Animal Breeding Regulation shall come into force. Until that time, the Interbull Centre will continue its current role as "EU Reference Body for Zootechnics (Bovine Breeding)”. The European Commission’s decision to designate the Interbull Centre as this European Union Reference Centre was published in the Official Journal of the European Union Issue L204/78, 5.8.2017 (www.interbull.org/ib/eurc).

Development of New Services

ICAR Accreditation of DNA interpretation for parentage and GenoEx-PSE

Participants at the Interbull meetings were informed that both GenoEx-PSE and the ICAR Accreditation of DNA Data Interpretation Centres have made significant developments. Both are in testing stages in preparation for their anticipated launches.


The results of the InterGenomics-Holstein Research Run were presented and discussed during the various meetings in Tallinn. Data from Ireland, Slovenia, Croatia, South Africa, Uruguay and Portugal were included in this first research run. Although the amount of data included in the research run was lower than anticipated, additional countries confirmed their continued interest at the InterGenomics-Holstein meeting on 29 August 2017, and we jointly continue to investigate how such a service can be implemented.

Exchange of Genetic Traits

The technical processes to exchange genetic traits for Holstein cattle have been implemented at the Interbull Centre. An agreement on some of the principles and processes will need to be established before the service can be launched. Discussions on this are ongoing.

Collaborative projects


During the 2017 Interbull Technical Workshop in Ljubljana in February 2017, a new approach to combine SNP solutions across countries and breeds was introduced by Mike Goddard. Mike Goddard, Interbull Steering Committee and Technical Committee, the Interbull Centre and InterGenomics Management Committee have since worked on implementing a feasibility study on this ‘SNPMace’ model. During the Interbull Meetings in Tallinn, it was clarified that SNPMace potentially provides a good way to integrate foreign information into national genomic models. As such SNPMace could in the long term become part of the Interbull Centre’s service portfolio. Further preparations to implement this feasibility study with the use of Brown Swiss data are taking place.

“GenTORE” and “ReDiverse”

The Interbull Centre is involved in the international consortia “GenTORE” and “ReDiverse” in which the Centre focuses on providing services to the project (enabling international exchange of data; quality control), and -in line with Interbull’s strategic plans- on developing services to the Interbull Community (several of whom are involved in the projects). More information on: www.interbull.org/ib/gentore and www.interbull.org/ib/rediverse.

2018 Interbull Service Calendar

The 2018 Service Calendar for dairy evaluations was published in March 2017: www.interbull.org/ib/servicecalendar. During the Business Meeting in Tallinn, it was explained and re-emphasised that the August 2018 release date will be 7 August (which is the first Tuesday in August). This is not a change of policy on release dates that was set in 2009, but a one-off, and from 2019 onwards, the August release dates will be the second Tuesday in August again.

Interbull Annual Meetings

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