Conformation Recording Working Group

The page shows introductory information about the Conformation Recording Working Group and relevant document produced by the WG


Gerben De Jong



Lucy Andrews-Noden, Holstein UK, (United Kingdom)
Gabriel Blanco, CONAFE, (Spain)
László Bognar, National Association of Hungarian Holstein Friesian Breeders, (Hungary)
Bethany Muir, Holstein Canada (Canada)

Relevant document of the Conformation Recording Working Group


Working plan for ICAR Working Group Conformation (After Niagara Meeting, June 2008)

The group will work coming period on two main topics:

  • Harmonisation of trait definitions
  • Improving transparency in data collection and monitoring classifiers.


Harmonisation of trait definitions

  • update of current document – done during October 2008 meeting, finalised 30th of November
  • survey among other dairy breeds, other than Holstein-Friesian.
  • Survey will be on the traits collected, traits definitions. Traits scored by several countries for a certain breed and recognised by the world federation of that breed could be considered as ICAR trait. Breeds considered (based on breeds already in Interbull evaluations: Jersey, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire (Red Dairy Cattle, including Norwegian Red and Swedish Red), Guernsey, Milking Shorthorn, Simmentals, Montbeliard.
  • Survey among beef breeds: the same as with dairy breeds
  • Survey among goat breeds: the same as with dairy breeds


Improving transparency (data collection and monitoring classifiers)

On this topic the group wants to describe the developed methodology and working procedures on training and monitoring classifiers more extensively, making use of what is already done by ICAR-members.

To tackle this issue the group first will make a survey among countries, which are already quite far in this field: USA, CAN, AUS, NLD, GBR, ESP, HUN, ITA, GER, DNK and FRA. The survey will request the organisations to describe their working procedure and methodology to monitor the classifiers (for example monitoring distribution of scores per classifier, organised training’s, applied methods/analyses). From this information and documentation received an ICAR document with recommendations can be made which can serve as reference/base document for each ICAR-member.

ICAR will send the survey to make it more official and to make clear the importance of the survey (get better response).

Topic Date ready
Update current document 30 November 2008
Survey among dairy breeds on trait definitions
Setting up survey 30 December 2008
Sending survey 28 February 2009
Putting together information from survey  30 June 2009
Survey among beef breeds on trait definitions
Setting up survey 28 February 2009
Sending survey 30 March 2009
Putting together information from survey 30 June 2009
Survey among goat breeds on trait definitions
Setting up survey 30 October 2009
Sending survey 30 December 2009
Putting together information from survey 30 May 2010
Survey on monitoring classifiers
Setting up survey 30 December 2008
Sending survey 28 February 2009
Putting together information from survey (1st version) 30 June 2009
Recommendations for ICAR (document) 30 June 2010



The approval by the general assembly in 2006 finalised the recommendations to define standard linear traits for international dairy cow assessment and the monitoring and training standards of classifiers. The ICAR type conformation program has been harmonised with the World Holstein Friesian Confederation (WHFF) type evaluation system and currently both conform to the same standards. The WHFF working group meets in Italy in October 2007 at which ICAR will be represented. Any new proposals will be fully evaluated and researched to ensure continued harmonisation of international linear type assessment. Agreed changes and subsequent recommendations will be presented to the ICAR board and the 2008 General Assembly

The ICAR type conformation working group believe there is a need and possible opportunity to harmonise beef cattle linear evaluation in a similar way to that which has been achieved in dairy breeds through the ICAR program. The working group therefore suggests that the ICAR board consider this proposal with a view to appointing the appropriate working group members with specific beef breed linear evaluation knowledge.

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