|Subject: Interbull news, September 2003
Name: Ulf Emanuelson
Date: 2003-09-01 11:32
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The most recent Interbull Business and Open meetings have just ended. Presentations and discussions covered a multitude of topics. Minutes from the Business meeting will be provided as soon as possible, but the following is an executive summary of the most important items:
- The draft of a revised Code of Practice for Interbull was provided to members on August 11, 2003. A few comments were provided during the meeting, but all members are expected to review the draft thoroughly and provide detailed comments to the Interbull Centre not later than October 1, 2003.
- A new test for validation of national genetic evaluations, based on Mendelian sampling deviations, is currently being developed. The expectation is that the test is finalized during the first quarter of 2004, and countries would then be required to apply the test before the September 2004 test-run. One of the requirements for the test is that accurate reliabilities for all animals, i.e. both bulls and dams, are available. Countries that do not already compute such reliabilities are therefore strongly advised to start to prepare to do so!
- The need to investigate effects of current and alternative procedures for defining phantom parent groups on results of MACE was identified, and a project will be designed. The expectation is that results should be available during the first quarter of 2004, pending on the availability of human resources.
- It was decided not to change the time edit currently applied when selecting data for breeding value prediction, although the research run on modifying the edit showed only minor general effects. It was decided, however, to discontinue the practice to update the time edit with one year at the February routine evaluation.
- The September 2003 test-run for Ayrshire conformation traits will be performed according the same principles as in the last pilot study, i.e. using a medium weight on the priors based on Holstein genetic correlations and the conservative approach for deriving priors for Norway.
- The usefulness of MACE for overall conformation traits was discussed at length, and it was decided that the Interbull Steering Committee should issue a statement communicating their view.
- The likelihood for test-runs for longevity and calving traits during October 2003 has earlier been communicated to the membership. Derivation of appropriate weights has, however, been more complicated and taken more time than anticipated, and the test-runs will therefore have to be postponed again! It is still expected that a test-run for longevity will be performed during 2003, but test-runs for calving traits will not be performed until in 2004.
- Jarmo Juga and Reinhard Reents were proposed to be re-elected as members of the Interbull Steering Committee.
- The annual meeting of Interbull in 2004 will take place on May 29-31, in conjunction with the ICAR biannual congress in Sousse, Tunisia. The meetings in 2005 and 2006 will be held in Uppsala, Sweden, and Kuopio, Finland, respectively. In addition, it was decided that the Interbull Technical Committee should meet during the early part of 2004 to thoroughly address various aspects on estimation of the genetic (co-)variance matrix to use in MACE.
- The schedule for the routine evaluations in 2004 was approved by the SC and all necessary dates will be published on the web as soon as possible. In brief, the dates for delivering data to the Interbull Centre are January 27, April 27, July 27, and October 26.