Working Groups

The following are the ICAR Working Groups:

The following are the Working Groups, describing their Purposes, Standards, Services offered and Responsible.


Animal Data Exchange Working Group

  • To develop industry standard data model for animal recording.
  • Establish and implement protocols for transfer of animal and farm data between animal recording computer centres nationally and internationally.
  • Develop for data validation criteria which should be applied in computer systems.
  • Interface with ISO data dictionary group  (WGII).

Erik Rehben
of the Animal
Data Exchange WG
Species – Breeds – Traits All species All breeds All traits
Standards & Guidelines
Services and Other
Responsible E. Rehben  (Chairman).


Animal Care Recording Working Group

Purpose Establish and maintain an inventory of recommendations and standards from international bodies and regulations from international authorities about good practices for animal welfare in the breeding and husbandry of farm animals Pending of nomination of a new Chair
Species – Breeds – Traits All species
All breeds
Standards & Guidelines From these recommendations and regulations, extract the different traits that need to be recorded on farm. Propose for the recording of these traits.
Services & Other
Responsible Pierre-Louis Gastinel (Chairman)


Artificial Insemination & Relevant Technologies Working Group

Purpose Improve data collection associated with artificial insemination
Gordon Doak, Chairman of the Artificial Insemination & Relevant Technologies WG
Species – Breeds – Traits Cattle
Dairy, Beef and Dual Purpose breeds
Standards & Guidelines Semen and straw identification and data
Embryo production and transfer data.
Services & Other Statistics on AI activities.
Contact with specialist groups
Issues & Points for Discussion Ensure link with Animal Data Exchange WG.
Ensure link with WG on Functional Traits  Health & Fertility).
Responsible Gordon A. Doak  (replaces Laurant Journaux in May 2013 as Chairman of the WG)


Conformation Recording Working Group

Purpose Stimulate recording of conformation traits in additional breeds & species
Establish standard trait definitions and measurement standards for use over all breeds of cattle involved in milk production.
Promote adoption of international standard trait definitions for conformation traits in dairy cattle

Gerben De Jong
Chairman of the
Conformation Recording WG
Species – Breeds – Traits Cattle
Holstein & other dairy breeds
Standards & Guidelines Survey of conformation recording in dairy breeds
Services & Other Conformation traits
Issues & Points for Discussion Consider link with WG on Beef Performance.
Convenor to confirm terms of reference.
Ensure link with WG on Functional Traits  Health & Fertility.
Responsible Gerben De Jong  (Chairman)


Dairy Cattle Milk Recording

Pavel Bucek
Chairman of the Dairy Cattle Milk Recording WG
Species – Breeds – Traits
Standards & Guidelines
Services & Other
Responsible Pavel Bucek (replaces Hans Wilmink in July 2014 as Chairman of the WG)


Feed and Gas Working Group

Purpose  Standardize recording of individual feed intake and methane emissions
Roel Veerkamp,
Chairman of the Feed and Gas WG
Species – Breeds – Traits  Ruminants: dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, goats
All breeds
(1) Dry matter intake, (2) Enteric methane emissions
Standards & Guidelines Dry matter intake – on how, when and what to record
Methane output – on (1) how, when and what to record, and (2) how to compare and combine measurements with different techniques
Services & Other
  • Provide a forum to collaborate, exchange information and learn from each other on aspects of recording and using dry matter intake and methane outputs data
  • Develop, provide and promote a system and standards for data storage and genetic evaluation services which will form the basis of services that ICAR will provide on a user-pays basis
Issues & Points for Discussion Ensure link with Animal Data Exchange WG
Responsible Roel Veerkamp  (Chairman)


Functional Traits Working Group

Purpose Stimulate development of functional trait recording
Christa Egger-Danner Chairman of the Functional Traits WG
Species – Breeds – Traits Cattle
Dairy Breeds in developed countries
Functional traits
Standards & Guidelines Health traits & recording methods
Fertility traits & recording methods
Methods for testing accuracy of recorded data
Presentation of health & fertility information for individual cows
Services & Other Survey of methods of recording used
Issues & Points for Discussion Revise purpose: To establish standard methods and coding systems for recording functional traits in cattle.
Consider expansion of role to include the collection of information required for milk and meat product quality assurance.
Responsible Christa Egger-Danner  (Chairman)


Genetic Analysis Working Group

Purpose The purpose of the group is to provide the relevant information to help member organization to operate and manage business related to DNA analyses mainly for herd book keeping and genetic evaluation. The goal of the working group is also to create and standards facilitating the exchange of information of genetic analyses by member organizations. The laboratories performing genetic analyses used by ICAR member organizations for animal recording and genetic evaluation must follow the standard procedures proposed by the “genetic analysis working group” and approved by ICAR General Assembly.
Wim van Haeringen
Chairman of the Genetic Analysis WG
Species – Breeds – Traits
Standards & Guidelines
  • To create standards relatively to animal identification through microsatellites analysis
  • To create standards to verify relationship among animals through microsatellites analysis
  • To create standards to test genotypes for K-casein, BLAD, Weaver, DUMPS, Red factor, Freemartinism, Polled, Mulefoot, b-Mannosidosis, Mutation 1/29. Other genotype analysis can be included if requested by member organizations
Services & Other

Each ICAR member organizations needs to indicate the laboratories for performing the genetic analysis for herd book keeping, performance recording and genetic evaluation. The laboratory must have the following requisites:

  • The laboratory must be free from any external pressure, as finance problems, commercial links that might influence any technical activities. The laboratory can not be involved in any activities causing lack of independence and correctness of judgment and of instruments calibration
  • The laboratory personnel must take all information and results under strict confidentiality and security
  • The laboratory personnel must have the correct qualification to perform the required genetic analyses
  • The laboratory must have the necessary instruments to perform the required genetic analysis
  • The laboratory must regularly take part of the ISAG comparison tests
  • The accomplishment of the laboratory requirements must be checked by the ICAR member organization
Responsible Wim van Haeringen  (Chairman)


Interbeef Working Group

Andrew Cromie
Chairman of the
Interbeef WG
Species – Breeds – Traits
Standards & Guidelines
Services & Other
Issues & Points for Discussion
Responsible Andrew Cromie  (replaces Brian Wickham in July 2014 as Chairperson of the WG)


Parentage recording Working Group

Suzanne Harding
Chairperson of the Parentage recording WG
Species – Breeds – Traits
Standards & Guidelines
Services & Other
Responsible Suzanne Harding  (Chairman)


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