Genetic improvement of dairy cattle has become a global venture. Farmers routinely use semen of foreign sires, and breeding companies acquire genetics from a variety of countries. With the international exchange of cattle, semen, and embryos comes a need for methods to compare animal that differ in housing conditions, feeding programs, and genetic composition of mates. Years ago, when genetic differences between strains of cattle in different countries were large, a simple comparison of phenotypic records sufficed. Over time, however, countries that were once importers of genetic material became competitors, with export aspirations of their own. Genetic differences between countries and strains are smaller, and advanced statistical procedures are needed to compare animals fairly and accurately. 

K. A Weigel

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 1, , 1.12, 2002
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