Publications and communications
National communications

 FGE gets a hearing before the French Senate Oversight Committee on 18 May 2011

The French Senate Oversight Committee on livestock, chaired by Christian Bailly, senator for the Jura, was tasked with producing a state-of-play report for the Economy commission looking at the outlook for the beef cattle sector. The Committee thus gave a hearing to the FGE, represented by Chairman Albert Merlet, along with Maurice Barbezant and Pierre-Louis Gastinel, on 18 May 2011.

Discussion focused on the importance of pinpointing upcoming market and consumer needs, but it also tackled the contradictions between statements that senators have heard from certain representatives of downstream subsectors (included statements made on carcass weights) and the market price of the animals, which determines livestock farmer revenues.

The Commission senators were most interested by the explanations given on the ability of genetic tools to integrate new selection criteria that will prove decisive for the future of this sector, and they concluded that there is an unfortunate lack of understanding on this issue by both politicians and wider public. The message they took away was the vital role of research efforts led by the INRA in partnership with professional organizations.

 Official genomics evaluations for females in June 2011

Joint press release, by the INRA, the Institut de l’Elevage, and the UNCEIA, dated 10 June: “The genomics revolution has now reached females”

June 2009 marks the date that France officially gave the green light to genomic evaluations on young bulls performed under the responsibility of the INRA. These evaluations optimally combine all the data available on a given animal (genotyping data, performance testing on progeny, and on ancestry).

Mirroring this system, genomic evaluations on Montbéliard, Normande and Holstein breed females was given the official seal in June 2011. This new service will help livestock breeders choose better heifers for herd replacement, better understand the qualities offered by their animals, and refine and optimize matings.

First official French publication of marker-assisted selection indexes for dairy-breed bulls

 Press release by France Génétique Elevage, dated 18 June 2009

The 18th of June 2009 marks a historic date for the French livestock industry: the first publication of official MAS (market-assisted selection) indexes, opening up the market for MAS-tested bull semen from that can be used by livestock breeders everywhere.