Supporting Animal Evaluation
Animal evaluation for the dairy industry is managed by New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL), a subsidiary of DairyNZ.
Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) provides a range of services and solutions to support NZAEL’s work.
This includes artificial breeding (AB), herd testing, herd recording (through MINDA), health diagnostics and DNA parentage testing.
When farmers do things like herd test or record animal information in MINDA, it contributes to the NZAEL evaluation of those animals, their family, and their contemporary groups.
That’s why it is so important that information recorded is complete and accurate, including:
- Animal ID
- Calving dates
- Calving assistance
- Dry off dates
- Health treatments
LIC also uses this data, in addition to feedback from Sire Proving Scheme farmers, to assist with selection of bulls for Premier Sires and Alpha Nominated.
Where information on an animal’s performance is not available or lacking, more emphasis is placed on known ancestry information within the animal evaluation system.
DairyNZ: New Zealand Animal Evaluation
This section of the DairyNZ website includes a range of information including the ranking of active sires, herd and animal statistics, how to interpret the breeding values and indices, and a series of FAQs around genetic improvement.
Who is responsible for animal evaluation in New Zealand?
New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL), a subsidiary of DairyNZ, manages the National Breeding Objective for New Zealand dairy cattle. It aims to develop, promote and deliver technologies that optimise genetic improvement in the national dairy herd. NZAEL exists to ensure relevant on farm data is captured, data quality is high, data is analysed accurately using world leading analytical methods and outputs are then applied in an appropriate manner.
What is LIC’s role?
LIC provides services and solutions which ultimately provide the information that supports animal evaluation.
What is LIC’s involvement with NZAEL?
LIC is represented on the NZAEL Standing Advisory Committee by Dr Bevin Harris, our research leader in Analytical and Learning Systems.
Can LIC influence or update animal BW and breeding values?
BW is based on data collected from the national herd. LIC cannot change BW or an animal’s breeding values under any circumstances. What we can do is provide farmers with mechanisms to contribute data towards the calculation of these values – through MINDA recording, herd testing, SPS etc. LIC also has representation on the NZAEL board which means we can raise issues or concerns with NZAEL.