Interbeef Code of Practice

This Interbeef Code of Practice provides information on the services, and their related protocols, procedures, right and obligations, that the Interbull Centre provides for participating Organisations under the auspicien of ICAR and ICAR's Interbeef Working Group.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background

  • The Interbull Centre, located at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden, maintains a system under contract to the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) for the routine computation of international genetic evaluations of dairy and beef cattle.
  • The Interbull Centre has been contracted by ICAR1 to provide a range of services2 related to the international genetic evaluation of beef breeds and beef traits.

  • The Interbull Centre is responsible for delivering services to ICAR’s clients who have signed the Services Agreement3 with ICAR covering international genetic evaluations for beef breeds and traits.

  • ICAR’s clients are responsible, as specified in the Services Agreement3 for complying with this Code of Practice for the practical implementation of the services and for providing input to assist in the further development of the services.


2 Schedule 2 of the above agreement.

3 AGREEMENT FOR THE SUPPLY OF SERVICES between SERVICE ICAR Srl and the Client relating to international genetic evaluations for beef breeds and traits.

1.2 Definitions

  • Organisation – an ICAR’s client that has signed the Agreement for the Supply of Services with ICAR covering international genetic evaluation services for beef breeds and traits.
  • Interbeef Working Group (Interbeef-WG) – a Working Group of ICAR, that is responsible for coordinating the development and provision of services for the international genetic evaluation of beef breeds and beef traits. The Terms of Reference and membership of the Interbeef-WG are determined by the Board of ICAR and are available on the ICAR website4

  • Interbull Centre – a section of the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics of SLU which is the contracted provider of international genetic evaluation services for beef breeds and traits to ICAR’s Clients.
  • Research Partner – an organisation that has entered into a research agreement with Interbull Centre under the supervision of the Interbeef-WG to undertake research on a topic related to the international genetic evaluation for beef cattle.
  • Services – are the services related to the international genetic evaluation of beef breeds and traits for which ICAR has contracted Interbull Centre to deliver to the Organisations.

4 http://www.icar.org/index.php/technical-bodies/working-groups/interbeef-working-group/

2.0 Services provided by Interbull Center on Contract with ICAR

2.1 Identification, Pedigree and Phenotype database

Interbull Centre is responsible for maintaining a database, called IDEA (Interbull Data Exchange Area), for uploading and storing animals' pedigree and phenotype data as well as any other relevant data considered relevant for the Services.

2.2 Routine Genetic Evaluations of Beef Breeds and Traits

Official Routine international genetic evaluations for beef cattle are computed for the traits and breeds as specified in Section 6.0 and with a frequency as specified in Section 7.3. Results of official Routine evaluations are distributed to organisations for their use and publication in accordance with Section 7.2.

2.3 Test Genetic Evaluations of Beef Breeds and Traits

Official Test evaluations are computed and distributed to organisations in accordance with Section 7.4

2.4 Country Pilot Run

A “Country Pilot run (for potential new Interbeef members)” is offered for organisations who want to assess the potential benefit from joining Interbeef without committing to becoming a member. Organisations who want to join this service, have to sign a specific agreement with ICAR.

The Country Pilot run is equivalent to a test genetic evaluation with few exceptions:

  • a) The Country Pilot run does not have to happen during a specific time of the year and does not appear on the Interbeef Service Calendar. As soon as Interbull Centre receives the instruction letter from ICAR allowing the evaluation to start, the staff starts the communication with the new Organisation and the run is scheduled after a common agreement between the new Organisation and Interbull Centre.
  • b) A separate evaluation is performed for each new Organisation.
  • c) No new Variance Component Parameters are estimated in a Country Pilot run evaluation. Official parameters for the Organisations participating in the Interbeef evaluation and assumed parameters for the new Organisation will be used together in the Country Pilot run.
  • d) The traits submitted to Interbull Centre for the Country Pilot run by the new Organisation must be described in detail using Form GE (described in Appendix III) available for downloading from the ICAR website https://www.icar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Interbeef-Form-BEEF.pdf.

  • e) The new Organisation participating in the Country Pilot run uploads the input data (pedigree, performance and parameter files according to the applicable formats available in the Interbeef Guidelines, Section 4) into a clone of the official IDEA database provided by Interbull Centre.
  • f) The data uploaded to the clone database by the new Organisation and the official data for the already participating Organisations are used together to perform an Interbeef evaluation for the breed-trait combinations included in the agreement between the new Organisation and ICAR.
  • g) The results of the Country Pilot run are delivered to the new Organisation only, as described in Section 7.2.
  • h) Data submitted by the new Organisation must be destroyed from the Interbull Centre database as soon as reasonably practicable within 12 months after the agreement is signed.

2.5 Research Facilities

Interbull Centre will provide, upon written agreement, computing facilities to use by Research Partners to ensure that research findings could be easily put in production and included in the official routine evaluations.

2.6 Website Maintenance

Interbull Centre shall:

  • a) Provide up-to-date information (by means of text or URLs from Interbull's website) to ICAR for maintenance of the ICAR Webpages where the relevant information for the Services are available for the Organisations and Research Partners.
  • b) Collect information about beef national genetic evaluation systems from the Organisations for publication on the ICAR Website.
  • c) Provide ICAR with any other additional information, as agreed by the Interbeef-WG and Interbull Centre, considered important for the Service and aimed for publication on the ICAR webpage.

3.0 Prerequisites for participation

3.1 Client of ICAR for the Services

Only Organisations that have signed a Service Agreement with ICAR for the supply of international genetic evaluations for beef breeds and traits can participate to the Interbeef evaluations. The most recent version of the agreement, together with the general terms of service and the related annexes, is available on the Interbeef section of the ICAR website. In Annex 1 of the agreement, the Organisation specifies the trait(s) and breed(s) combinations for which they wish to participate.

Organisations participating in the Service also accept their responsibility as stated in this Interbeef Code of Practice (in particular sections 4.1, 7.1 and 7.2).

3.2 Steps to participation

The process for becoming part of the routine evaluation Services for beef breeds and traits as delivered by the Interbull Centre on contract to ICAR is illustrated graphically in Figure 1.

New participant Organisations have the option (but are not obliged) to first sign the agreement and be involved in a Country Pilot Run (see section 2.4). Following a successful Country Pilot Run, the Organisation will still need to follow all steps as illustrated in Figure 1.

Both Country Pilot runs and test genetic evaluations will be considered successful (passed) if no technical issues, related to the data, are detected during the run and, for test genetic evaluations, no objections/negative feedback are received from Interbeef Technical Committee members after investigation of results


4.0 Responsibilities

4.1 Participating Organisations

Responsibilities of Participating Organisations include:

  • a) Checking the quality of data described in Section 7.1 before sending them to Interbull Centre, using appropriate protocols including communicating explanations to Interbull Centre for inconsistencies in the data between evaluations.
  • b) Submitting data to Interbull Centre for inclusion in a test evaluation run before entering the routine evaluation scheme for the first time and before major changes in the Organisation's evaluation (either methodology or logistics, processing and storage of data) are introduced.
  • c) Modified trait definitions and modified models are examples of major changes that require participation in a test evaluation run. Modifications of the database, computer program or compiler, or conversion criterion are examples of changes that may be considered as “minor”, but that may still create “major” differences in results and thus require participation in a test evaluation run.
  • d) Participation in a test evaluation run with modified data implies that an official implementation of the modification is targeted for the near future, usually within 6 months.
  • e) Providing accurate and complete information about the national genetic evaluations performed by the Organisation and publication policy using the appropriate forms as detailed in Appendix III, before entering the evaluation scheme for the first time and when changes in the Organisation’s evaluations are introduced. This information will be collated by the Interbull Centre for all Organisations and made available on the ICAR webpage (http://www.icar.org/index.php/technical-bodies/working-groups/interbeef-working-group/) with the understanding that this does not provide permission for publication of results on the scale and base of another Organisation.

  • f) Timely sending of phenotype data files in the agreed format and media for all breeds and traits, that they participate with, in the international genetic evaluation, to the Interbull Centre.
  • g) Carefully examine animals and pedigree data identified with their country code in the IDEA database, and solve any dual-registered animals or discrepancies directly in the IDEA database.
  • h) Publish Interbeef genetic evaluations results in their “country” scale.
  • i) Acknowledging the role of the Interbull Centre and ICAR in the computation of international evaluations whenever these are published or used.
  • j) Paying the agreed Service fees to ICAR.
  • k) Notifying the Interbull Centre regarding any anticipated future changes in the Organisation’s evaluation system.
  • l) Respecting the confidentiality of results from test evaluation runs (section 7.4, clause f).
  • m) Respecting the confidentiality of the pre-release of international evaluation results (section 7.3, clause c).
  • n) Check the result from the international evaluations and report findings to the Interbull Centre.
  • o) Joining an official test run aimed at implementing new breeds and/or traits combinations in a Routine evaluation is binding for the participation in the following Routine evaluation for such new combinations.

4.2 Organisation providing Variance Componentes

Responsibilities of Organisation providing variance components to the Interbull Centre include:

  • a) Conduct estimation of variance components at test runs (item 7.4).
  • b) Use methodology and software as approved by the Interbeef Technical Committee.
  • c) Check consistency in the estimated variance components between current and previous estimation for each breed and trait combination in question.
  • d) Provide Interbull Centre with variance components according to the agreed file format and time plan.

4.3 Interbull Centre

4.3.1 Services

Interbull Centre's Responsibilities towards the Service include:

  • a) Checking data received from each Organisation and reporting potential errors and/or inconsistencies discovered back to individual Organisation; excluding data from the international evaluations if errors or inconsistencies are not corrected before the deadline for receiving data (section 7.3) is reached.
  • b) Provide a secure database environment where the Organisation can upload data including but not limited to identifications, pedigree, phenotypes and/or genotypes.
  • c) Conducting test evaluation runs according to the approved schedule, investigating the impact of major changes in the Organisation’s evaluation methodology as well as the feasibility of inclusion of new breeds and/or traits or new Organisations in the Service, test the effect of potential improvements in the international genetic evaluation procedure.
  • d) Continuing to improve the international genetic evaluation procedure.
  • e) Conducting routine international evaluations according to the approved schedule (section 7.3) and the method (section 5.0) approved by the Interbeef Technical Committee, utilising the most recent data from the participating Organisations.
  • f) Timely sending of the results from the international evaluations to Organisations in the agreed format and media (section 7.2) together with a description of the method and keys for results interpretation.
  • g) Maintaining the “Interbeef Code of Practice” up to date for the provision of International Beef Genetic Evaluation services ensuring that all changes are first approved by the Interbeef-WG.

4.3.2 Research

Interbull Centre's Responsibilities towards supporting Research activities include:

  • a) Extracting and providing data to Research Partners.
  • b) Establishing computing facilities to be used by Research Partners.
  • c) Providing Research Partners with access to suitable software.
  • d) Providing training and support for the research computing infrastructure in use.
  • e) Determining a plan for implementation of service enhancements for research projects.
  • f) Keeping track of research projects progress.
  • g) Performing research if requested by the Interbeef-WG (section 8.0).

4.4 Interbeef-WG

The Interbeef-WG's Responsibilities include:

  • a) Make requests for analysis to the Interbeef Technical Committee on methodological issues of such importance that they may affect the Service as a whole. Examples include adding or removing traits from the evaluation, changing editing criteria, or adopting an entirely new method for genetic evaluation.
  • b) Communicate agenda, arrange meetings (virtual and face-to-face), reach consensus, record outcomes and provide directions/support for the Interbeef Technical Committee.
  • c) Review research proposals, ensuring Organisations’ commitment and financial basis for the implementation of potential new Services.
  • d) Approve research that supports the goals of Interbeef and is adequately resourced.
  • e) Deal with any issues that arise in the course of research.
  • f) Review proposals and recommendations regarding Interbeef services.
  • g) Consider needs of Organisations and Interbull Centre.
  • h) Make final decisions on changes to the Services.
  • i) Report to ICAR, with recommendations as appropriate, on any matter materially affecting financial aspects of the Service.

4.5 Interbeef Technical Committee

The Interbeef Technical Committee's Responsibilities include:

  • a) Identify and review any technical steps needed in order to ensure that an efficient service of high quality is delivered to participating Organisations.
  • b) Make recommendations on technical issues that may impact evaluation results. These are, for example, the inclusion of a proven better algorithm for parameter estimation. Their recommendations will however not be towards strategic or political issues.
  • c) Provide advice to the Interbeef-WG on the technical and scientific elements of the Service.
  • d) Review research proposals and findings and advise on Research Project Plan(s).
  • e) Review requests, suggestions and plans for changes to the Services.
  • f) Make recommendations to the Interbeef-WG regarding new services and/or changes to existing services.

4.6 Research Partners

Research Partners' Responsibilities include:

  • a) Appointing of a project leader and ensuring a positive and enthusiastic leadership for agreed research areas.
  • b) Ensuring that necessary skills and knowledge required are available as well as ensuring that all other research partners involved in the project have agreed to the terms of data to use.
  • c) Research partners shall, in collaboration with Interbull Centre, develop appropriate file formats for the data needed in the project.
  • d) Research partners shall present and sign a list of time milestones for the proposed work before the project starts. Examples of content in the time milestone:
    1. define file formats
    2. define trait definitions
    3. time for the data call
    4. identification of activities in the project and their time estimates.
  • e) Obtain all necessary data from Interbull Centre, such as pedigree, performance and parameter files, needed to carry out the research, upon a written agreement by the Organisations providing the data.
  • f) Prepare written reports to Interbeef Technical Committee & Interbeef-WG according to the different project's time milestones and make presentations of research findings to the industry and ICAR forums.

  • g) Prepare and obtain approval to publish research findings in relevant scientific and technical publications.
  • h) Use the software(s) suggested by Interbull Centre or propose new tools or solutions that will be applicable for routine use at Interbull Centre. The Interbull Centre research infrastructure shall be available for research partners upon written agreement.
  • i) Liaise with Interbull Centre to ensure efficient and effective implementation of relevant research findings in enhanced services.

4.7 ICAR

A detailed list of ICAR’s responsibilities is presented in the SERVICES AGREEMENT (INTERBEEF) between INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR ANIMAL RECORDING and INTERBULL CENTRE dated 21 September 2011. Hereby are presented the ones closely related to Interbull Centre and the Interbeef service:

  • a) Ensure that all participating Organisations have an up-to-date signed agreement for the Service.
  • b) To inform Interbull Centre without unnecessary delay of any changes occurring to the participating Organisations.
  • c) Collect service fees from participating Organisations.
  • d) Pay Interbull Centre for the services it provides in accordance with the agreed budgets.

5.0 Methods of international genetic evaluations

  • a) The global animal model (GAM) developed by Sullivan (2002) and further analysed specifically for beef by Phocas et al. (2005) is applied to raw performance data from male and female animals (depending on the nature of the trait). The model can be described as an across-country multi-trait animal model. Depending on the trait analysed, permanent environmental effects can be added to the model. The work is described in the following scientific papers:
    1. Sullivan, P. G. 2002. Genetic Evaluation Strategies for Multiple Traits and Countries. PhD thesis. University of Guelph, Canada.
    2. Phocas et.al., 2005. Investigation of three strategies of an international genetic evaluation of beef cattle weaning weight. GSE37(4 :361-380).
  • b) Phenotypes and pedigree are extracted from the Interbull IDEA database.
  • c) Fixed class and regression effects, as well as non-genetic random effects (e.g. random contemporary groups), are defined and provided by each Organisation and uploaded together with the performance data in the Interbull IDEA database.
  • d) The genetic evaluations (breeding values and reliabilities) are processed using the Interbull Centre infrastructures.
  • e) Variance components are estimated:
    1. Whenever a new Organisation joins the international genetic evaluation.
    2. When major changes occur in an Organisation's genetic model.
    3. After a few years due to changes in population structure.
  • f) New developments regarding international evaluation methodology will be applied whenever research efforts are completed and considered appropriate and approved by the Interbeef Technical Committee and Interbeef-WG.
  • g) International evaluations will be computed for one trait and breed at a time. For traits and breeds definitions see section 6.0.
  • h) Data on all animals evaluated in each country will be considered in the international genetic evaluation, subject to the following editing criteria:
    1. Only non-ET.
    2. ET-animals will receive an international breeding value based on their parent average only.
    3. Animals' pedigree information must be present in the Interbull IDEA pedigree database.
  • i) Exceptions from these requirements may be accepted as part of standard procedures for a trait group and specified in the appropriate clause of section 6.0 “Traits and Breeds”.

6.0 Traits and Breeds

  • a) The Service currently considers the following breed groups:
    • - Charolais (CHA)
    • - Limousine (LIM)
    • - Beef Simmental (SIM)
    • - Aberdeen-Angus (AAN)
    • - Hereford (HER)
  • b) International genetic evaluations are currently routinely conducted for animal weaning weight and the calving traits: calving ease (cae) and birth weight (bwt).
  • c) Traits and breeds considered in the beef international evaluation:



Trait definition

Animal weaning weight (aww)


Live weight of animal measured on a scale at around weaning age.

Calving traits:
Calving ease (cae)
Birth weight (bwt)


cae: calving difficulties measured on a scale from 1 (easy calving) to 5 (embryotomy).
bwt: weight of the animal at birth.

  • d) A description of the national genetic evaluation system shall be provided by each Organisation, by completing a Beef Form (Appendix III), at each test run for all traits whose genetic model has been changed. The form can be downloaded from the ICAR webpage: https://www.icar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Interbeef-Form-BEEF.pdf.
    A description of the Organisation's publication policy shall also be provided using the form described in Appendix III. The form can be downloaded from the ICAR webpage: https://www.icar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Interbeef-Description-of-national-publication-policy-for-Beef-Evaluation.pdf.

  • e) Possible expansion of international genetic evaluations to other breeds and other traits will be subjected to the results of research and development work (Section 8.0).

  • f) Crossbred animals for all breeds of evaluation (CHA, LIM, SIM, AAN and HER) are included in the animal weaning weight evaluation (as described in the Interbeef Guidelines, Section 4.3).

7.0 Data Exchange and time of evaluation

7.1 Data from Organisations to Interbull Centre

  • a) Each participating Organisation is expected to provide:
    1. Pedigree information.
    2. Animals’ performance information for any traits the organisation wants to provide data, within the ones currently evaluated (described in Section 6.0).
    3. Genetic parameters to be used in the international genetic evaluation.
    4. A list of animals’ IDs whose proofs are considered official for publication in the participating Organisation’s country.
    5. A list of animals’ IDs for any ET (embryo transferred) animals. Such animals will receive an international breeding value based solely on their parent average. (This file is not mandatory).
  • b) The information listed from a.ii to a.iv all together represent the performance information to be placed in an XML file format according to https://wiki.interbull.org/public/FilePerformanceXML?action=print&rev=9.

  • c) Both pedigree and performance files will need to be uploaded to the Interbull Centre database IDEA.
  • d) Only pedigree information as present in the IDEA database is used for the purpose of international evaluation. Once the deadline for submission of data has passed, the uploading functionality in IDEA is closed by Interbull Centre staff and the whole IDEA pedigree content is extracted. Breed-specific pedigree files are then reconstructed starting from all animals having a performance record for at least one submitted trait.
  • e) Data for the international evaluations will normally be the Organisation’s individual trait’s performance records (phenotypes) of animals used in their most recent national evaluation. The performance records should be provided in the same way as it is official, and publicly defined and expressed. All traits submitted to Interbull Centre for an international evaluation must be described in detail using the Form Beef (described in Appendix III) available for downloading from the ICAR website: https://www.icar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Interbeef-Form-BEEF.pdf according to the following instruction https://wiki.interbull.org/public/FormBeef?action=print&rev=5

  • f) Exceptions from these requirements may be accepted as part of standard procedures for a trait group and specified in the appropriate clause of section 6.0 “Traits and Breeds”.
  • g) Only animal records from the breed groups identified in Section 6.0 clause a) can be sent to Interbull Centre. Other breed groups may be added in the future after approval by the Technical Committee. Animals should be classified under one of the above breed groups according to the definition given in each country. Organisations are responsible for identifying which breed groups their populations belong to.
  • h) Additional information, such as Beef Forms, description of the country’s publication policy and other documentation files should be sent to Interbull Centre via email or placed on the Interbull centre’s FTP.

7.2 Data from Interbull Centre to Organisations

  • a) After each evaluation, the files specified in Table 1 are put on each Organisation’s own directory on the Interbull Centre FTP server for download.
  • Table 1.


File Name

Description of contents



# Information about all the distributed files



# Information about changes in the participating Organisations and international evaluation and parameters used



# Breeding values for all bulls



# Direct and maternal publishable animals



# Solutions for Maternal permanentenv



# Solutions for fixed effects



# Solutions for regression



# Solutions for random effects



# Description of file formats



# File with consistency checks between current and previous publishable file



# official artificial insemination bulls with their ancestors (parents and grand-parents only)

  • b) Each Organisation providing data for a specific breed-trait(s) evaluation will receive:
  • - evaluations’ results for all animals included in the related breed-traits group evaluation, for the trait(s) the Organisation provided the data, expressed on its own base and scale and dedicated exclusively for the purpose of international genetic evaluation;

  • - evaluations’ results for all animals included in the related breed-traits group evaluation, for the trait(s) the Organisation provided the data, expressed on base and scale of all Organisations participating in the same breed-trait(s) evaluation. These results may only be used for internal validation purposes.

  • The use of these two kinds of results for any other purposes must be regulated by specific contracts agreed with all other Organisations involved in the specific evaluation.
  • c) In terms of publishing evaluations’ results, each Organisation is allowed to publish only results expressed on its own base and scale contained in the files {trt}_MD_pub_${BRD}_$runid.csv, related to animals identified as publishable according to Interbeef publication rules.
  • d) Individual Organisations are responsible for publishing results of the international evaluations according to their own requirements; publication should distinguish between the Organisation’s domestic predicted genetic merits and the international predicted genetic merits.

7.3 Time of evaluations and deadlines

  • a) Official Routine international evaluations are computed two times per year. Service Calendar for the evaluations is available on ICAR webpage http://www.icar.org/index.php/technical-bodies/working-groups/interbeef-working-group/.

  • b) Organisations should upload their data for routine and test evaluations to the Interbull Centre database according to the Interbeef Service Calendar mentioned above. The deadline for sending data is at 17:00 CET on the data reception's deadline, but Organisations are encouraged to send data at their earliest possible opportunity, as that will allow more time for checking and verification of the data as well as for resolving any possible data inconsistencies. Ultimately, the most recent and correct Organisation's file received by the data reception's deadline will be used in the international evaluations.
  • c) Pre-released evaluation results are strictly confidential and are distributed with the sole intent of checking of results giving also the possibility for Organisations to pre-process the data prior to an official release. The Interbull Centre may decide to release new evaluation results if a re-run is deemed necessary due to errors either in Interbull Centre's procedures or in the Organisation’s data discovered by the Interbull Centre or by any participating Organisations after the pre-release. Interbull Centre will send an email to all participating Organisations on the likelihood that the pre-release results are official according to the time plan.

7.4 Test Genetic Evaluation policy

  • a) Official Test International Genetic Evaluation (test run) is conducted once per year at the Interbull Centre.
  • b) The test evaluation is performed during spring (of the Northern Hemisphere) and it is performed:
    1. for a new Organisation wanting to test their data before joining the Interbeef international routine evaluations,
    2. for both Organisations and Interbull Centre to investigate the impact of either new Organisations joining or changes to the national genetic models performed by existing Organisations on the international evaluations results,
    3. for Interbull Centre to investigate potential improvements on the international genetic evaluation procedure,
    4. for Interbull Centre to investigate potential improvements on the international genetic evaluation procedure.
  • c) A second test evaluation may be performed during the autumn (of the Northern Hemisphere). The second test evaluation is performed, after agreement with Interbull Centre, only in case a new Organisation wants to join the Interbeef international evaluations Service and the timing of such decision has been taken within 4 months from the official test run performed during the spring (of the Northern Hemisphere). The additional test run will not require submission of any new data from the existing participating Organisations: for these Organisations the data available for the last official evaluation will be used. Only new Organiszation(s) will need to upload their data in the IDEA database.
  • d) Results of official test evaluations are reviewed by technical representatives from all participating Organisations involved. Pending the review, the inclusion of the modifications in an international routine run is usually targeted in the next scheduled routine run.
  • e) Participating Organisations are requested to consider potential modifications of their genetic evaluation procedures in line with the above-mentioned time schedule.
  • f) Results from test runs are confidential. Genetic evaluation results of individual animals shall not become available outside the Organisation’s control. Summary statistics can be shared with relevant advisory groups, in order to prepare for incorporation into routine evaluations, but confidentiality of results must always be maintained and no information shall be shared that can be of competitive advantage.

8.0 Research Projects

8.1 Financial assessment

8.2 Data security and anonymity for research

  • a) Before any data could be used for research by any Research Partners, Interbull Centre shall co-ordinate a consultation with the Interbeef-WG. This consultation must result in a written agreement between Interbull Centre, the Organisations whose data will be used, the Interbeef-WG and the Research Partner(s).
  • b) The written agreement between Interbull Centre, Organisations, the Interbeef-WG and Research Partner(s) must cover:
    1. the description of the requested data,
    2. the purposes for which the data is to be used,
    3. the publication or other arrangements for the dissemination of the research output,
    4. the utilisation of the research output, and the integrity and security of any data provided.
  • c) The following general principles describing the use of data for research are usually sought, they can however change according to the final written agreement resulting from the consultation process described above:
    1. Data is only used in the research for which it is supplied. That is, it is not to be supplied to any other party or used for any other research without a written agreement.
    2. To ensure data anonymity, if a research partner belonging to a given Organisation asks for data extraction for any research purposes agreed by the Interbeef-WG, Interbull Centre will re-codify the animals' and farms identification's numbers (even contemporary group in case they do include farm numbers) prior to sending the data to the research partner. At the same time, Interbull Centre will provide the research partner in question with the corresponding information between the real and recoded animals' and farms identification's numbers only for the animals and farms associated to the research partner's Organisation and country. In this way the research partner will have a way to verify the results pertaining to its own Organisation and country.
    3. Data is protected and individuals (animals, farms, people and Organisations) are not identified in the resulting publications.
    4. The results of the research are available to Interbull Centre and Organisations who participate with data, for use in their services for the range of breeds, traits and territory they cover without licence fees applicable.
    5. The Interbeef-WG, Interbull Centre and relevant Organisations are acknowledged as the source of data in all resulting publications.
    6. The Interbeef-WG and the Interbeef Technical Committee are consulted prior to publication of any results.
  • d) Organisations are encouraged to actively support research and development projects, which will be under the auspices of the Interbeef Technical Committee. Organisations shall send details of such projects to the Interbeef-WG Chairman, such that a list of ongoing projects, own or collaborative, can be maintained and made available on the ICAR home page.
  • e) Scientific research can be conducted at the Interbull Centre or at other institutes worldwide. Collaborative research proposals with Interbeef are scientifically reviewed by the Interbeef Technical Committee before they are adopted.
  • f) Progress in the project should be presented at an Interbeef workshop and reviewed by technical representatives from the participating Organisations and by the Interbeef Technical Committee.
  • g) When research has reached a mature state, results should be distributed to Organisations for review, usually at a technical workshop, where principal investigators and scientists from all participating Organisations are invited to attend.
  • h) Depending on the outcome of such review, the Interbeef Technical Committee will decide whether to proceed with another research run or towards the expansion of the service:
    • - in case of not satisfactory results, a new research run will be scheduled. The Organisations joining the research runs have the right to withdraw from the project (all data submitted by the withdrawing Organisation(s) will be removed).
    • - In case of satisfactory results, to move towards an expansion of service, a Pilot run is scheduled and the relative documentation is prepared and distributed.
  • i) Following a successful completion and review of the Pilot run, the Interbeef Technical Committee will make a recommendation to the Interbeef-WG in order to move the Pilot evaluation into an official test run. The Interbeef-WG will consider this recommendation on the basis that:
    1. it is technically sound,
    2. no objections or concerns are raised by the participating Organisation.
  • j) After approval from the Interbeef-WG, the specific trait-breed-countries combinations are evaluated in an official test run, scheduled according to the Service Calendar. No changes are allowed between the Pilot run and the test run, not in terms of participating countries nor in the evaluation model. The participation in the official Test run is binding for the participation in the following Routine evaluation according to Section 4.1, comma “o”.
  • k) Upon specific agreement with the Organisations involved, the Interbull Centre can use the data provided to conduct, on its own or in collaboration with other research institutions, any research pertinent to international evaluations.
  • l) Data provided to Interbull Centre by Organisations as part of the Service are dedicated to international beef genetic evaluations. However, for research purposes, data extracts resulting from specific and explicit research agreements are to be made available to research partners. All participating Organisations should be informed of such research projects.
  • m) Any proposal to conduct research must be prepared and submitted in writing to Interbull Centre with a copy to the Interbeef-WG and Interbeef Technical Committee respective Chairpersons.

8.3 Exceptions

Deviations from the procedure outlined in Section 8.1 may be accepted by the Interbeef-WG, for instance when breeds and traits are added to an already established Service. Deviations from the procedure outlined in Section 8.1 shall be in writing.

9.0 Promotion of Services by Interbull Centre and ICAR

Interbull Centre and ICAR can promote the Services to potential and existing Organisations and supporters of the service with examples of results being produced. These results will be associated only with bulls officially proven by the respective Organisation of first sampling whose international predicted genetic merits have already been published.

10.0 Service fees

All matters related to Service Fees are to be directed to ICAR – icar@icar.org .

10.1 Interbeef Service Fee Structure

The fee for participating in Interbeef Evaluations is based on the following components:


Fee per item

Country/org fee:

- single country

€4 000

- each additional country

€1 000

- single country without national evaluation in place (@ 25% full fee)

€1 000

Breed Fee:

- First two breeds (each)

€1 000

- each subsequent breed

€ 500

- breed without national evaluation in place (@ 50% full fee)

€ 500

Trait Fee:

- first two traits (each)

€ 300

- each subsequent trait

€ 150

- trait without national evaluation in place (@ 50% full fee)

€ 150

Data Fee

- per 1 000 submitted performance records*

€ 1

* Capped at € 8 000*breed*trait group

Example 1

A country with national evaluation and participating in Interbeef Evaluations with two breeds, one trait for each breed, and submitting 10 000 performance records for each Breed*Trait combination (20 000 performance records in total):



Fee per item


Country/org fee

- Single country


€ 4 000

€ 4 000

Breed fee

- first 2 breeds


€ 1 000

€ 2 000

Trait fee

- first 2 traits


€ 300

€ 600

Data fee

- per 1 000 submitted performance records


€ 1

€ 20

Total fee

€ 6 620

Example 2

A country with national evaluation and participating in Interbeef Evaluations with three breeds, three traits for each breed (9 Breed*Trait combinations), and submitting 10 000 performance records for each Breed*Trait combination (90 000 performance records in total):



Fee per item


Country/org fee

- Single country


€ 4 000

€ 4 000

Breed fee

- first 2 breeds


€ 1 000

€ 2 000

- subsequent breeds


€ 500

€ 500

Trait fee

- first 2 traits


€ 300

€ 600

- subsequent traits


€ 150

€ 1 050

Data fee

- per 1 000 submitted performance records


€ 1

€ 90

Total fee

€ 8 240

11.0 Interbeef-WG and Technical Committee Meetings

Interbeef-WG and Technical Committee members are expected to meet 5 times a year (1 time in person and 4 times online), as scheduled in the Interbeef Meetings Calendar distributed by Interbull Centre. Meetings’ dates are defined according to the following principle:

  • January (online): scheduled before the deadline for pedigree submission for the January routine run;
  • March (online): scheduled after the official release of the January routine run results;
  • May-June (in person): scheduled during the Interbeef annual meeting;
  • July (online): scheduled on the day of decision for inclusion in the routine evaluation of changes tested in the April test run;
  • November (online): scheduled after the official release of the October routine run results.

Appendix I - Participating Organisations list

ICAR will make details on current participating Organisations publicly available. ICAR shall inform Interbull Centre immediately of any changes to the Partecipating Organisations list.

Appendix II - Pre Release Agreement

ICAR will provide information about which Organisations have a signed pre-released agreement to Interbull Centre. Only Organisations with a signed pre-released agreement will received the results on the pre-release day. Other countries will receive the results on the official release day. ICAR shall inform Interbull Centre immediately about any changes to this list.

Appendix III - Forms

Guideline to Form BEEF

Guideline for Organisations to complete the form which describes their beef national genetic evaluation system can be found at: https://wiki.interbull.org/public/FormBeef?action=print&rev=5.


The form for the description of Organisation's beef national genetic evaluation can be downloaded from: http://www.icar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Interbeef-Form-BEEF.pdf

Form pub_beef

The form for the description of Organisation's publication policy for Beef evaluation can be downloaded from: http://www.icar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Interbeef-Description-of-national-publication-policy-for-Beef-Evaluation.pdf

public/wholeBCoP_toPrint (last edited 2021-12-13 12:02:34 by SimoneSavoia)