Using official AI codes for bulls, rather than herd book numbers and short names, is the only safe and fully reliable means of ensuring sires are correctly identified on NMR records.
"The AI code is like our National Insurance number and is completely unique to that bull."
As the Holstein Friesian codes are ‘split’ this month into ‘HO’ for Holstein sires and ’BF’ for registered British Friesian bulls, independent breeding consultant Kevin Lane is encouraging breeding companies to ensure these codes are more readily available to producers and they in turn make sure they are recorded accurately.
AI codes for bulls are issued by NMR and Mr Lane has been auditing the list and issuing codes for new bulls for the past 10 years. “This is a very accurate and fool-proof list,” he says. “We are writing to all AI companies and informing producers of the changes to newly-issued black and white breed codes and at the same time urging them to make sure they are used on their herd records.”
Mr Lane cites a recent case that led to confusion and potentially inaccurate recording. “The sire name noted was Dylan, but we found several bulls with the short name of Dylan. When we dug deeper we found that the actual bull used was ‘Dillon’. The use of the correct AI code would have been simpler. And the same confusion can arise where a herd book number is used – this is like a telephone number and it can be duplicated.
“The AI code is like our National Insurance number and is completely unique to that bull. It is in the AI companies’ interest, for their genetic evaluations, to see these codes used on all records and this in turn will benefit the whole industry.”
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