The main significance is that the estimated 50% of replacement heifers bred by stock bulls on Irish dairy farms will not only have parentage validated, but will also have genomic breeding values.
This change will be of huge benefit to all dairy farmers, according to the IHFA.
It will add significantly to the database used for evaluating Holstein Friesian genetics in Ireland, thus increasing the accuracy and reliability of genetic data.
Farmers choosing bulls will benefit from the increased reliability of the bull data.
All named male animals will be genomically tested for Holstein Friesian registration, but the cost for registering a male animal will remain at €50.
BVD tissue samples will be used for genomic testing as far as is practical, and the testing process has been automated in co-operation with ICBF.
Where the Irish Equine Centre is the herd-owner’s designated laboratory for BVD testing, the tissue sample will use the genomic test instead of a hair sample, which reduces room for error, and eliminates sample contamination.
If another designated laboratory is used for BVD testing, a hair kit will be issued in the usual way for the genomic test.