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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech Université Paris-Saclay


GABI : Génétique Animale et Biologie IntégrativeUnité Mixte de Recherche INRA - AgroParisTech

INRA an actor in the application of the European Zootechnical Rules

INRA an actor in the application of the European Zootechnical Rules
© European Community, 2007
The 2016/2020 European Zootechnical Rules became effective on November 1, 2018. These rules modify the structure of animal selection. This provision cancels out INRA's regularory role in carrying out evaluations.

KEY-WORDS: European zootechnical rules ; genetic evaluation of breeding animals ; animal selection

European Community, 2007
During 2018, INRA transfered the genetic evaluation procedures to GenEval, a shared structure created by Allice and Races de France. At the same time, INRA will build and house the National Zootechnical Database as cited in article 28 of the rules.

The Breeding Law (1966), then the Agricultural Modernization Law (2006) entrusted to INRA genetic evaluations of reproducing bovine, caprine and ovine animals.

This mission jointly involved three INRA units:

  • The Genetic Information Treatment Center (CTIG) of Jouy-en-Josas, for the project management of the national database (which centralizes all information necessary for evaluation), the availability of data and the informatics treatment (calculations, distribution of evaluation results) along with providing the informatics resources necessary for data calculation and storage;
  • The Animal Genetics and Integrative Biology unit (GABI) of Jouy-en-Josas, for the conception and performance of bovine genetic evaluations;
  • The Genetics, Physiology and Farming Systems unit (GenPhySE) of Toulouse for the conception and performance of ovine and caprine genetic evaluations.

Using the data collected on farms by the different professional partners (identification and pedigree of animals, performances issued from farms and genotyping), during all these years INRA has developed and performed numerous genetic evaluations characterized by three main points:

  • a constant evoluation of evaluation methods. The studies led within the eBis and GPR Joint Technological Units, the closest to recent research results, provided professionals of the French Genetic Evaluation system with reliable, precise and performing evaluation tools.
  • "Big Data" was shared a head of time, allowing the French Genetic Evaluation system to be one of the first to develop genomic selection.
  • In addition to these evolutions, there was the availability of a constant high computing power and ISO9001 certification for genetic evaluation activities.

The European Zootechnical Rules (EZR) of June 8, 2016 modifies the regulations which, from now on, state that Selection Organizations (SO) recognized by the government, are responsible for genetic evaluation of their reproducing animals.

This provision cancels the regulatory mission of INRA in terms of evaluations. INRA can no longer legitimately allocate resources to this activity, and has stopped calculating idexes as of November1, 2018 date at which the EZR came into effect.

INRA nevertheless promotes the maintenance of a shared evaluation system, which guarentees both technical and economic efficiency and an access for all SO to high quality genetic evaluations. With this in mind, in January 2018, INRA along with their Joint Technical Unit partners, began tranferring the genetic evaluation procedures developed over the years to GenEval, the shared evaluation structure created by Allice and Races de France. INRA trained GenEval personnel in the various processing chains for indexing and provided it with the necessary computing infrastructure and access to the consolidated datasets necessary to launch its activity. Isofunctionnal controls were performed along the way on all the evaluation processes. The transfer operation was finished in October, 2018 and GenEval has been performing the genetic evaluations alone since November 1.

At the same time, INRA participates with its partners in the evolution of the information systems. The French government has planned to activate article 28 of the UZR which will allow them to request that the SO provide data that are "complete for perfomance testing and genetic evaluations effectuated on reproducing animals detained in farms located on territories under the responsiblity of the government". The authorities have mandated INRA (and indirectly the CTIG) to build, house and maintain this National Zootechnical Database (NZD). INRA is developing this NZD, a unique tool for the government's, GenEval and research needs while respecting the agreement of data providers. For genetic evaluations, this database and its interfacing with GenEval already guarantee access to validated data and therefore reliable evaluations at reduced costs.

The application of the EZR will profoundly modify the organization of genetic evaluations. INRA has been strongly mobilized to provide support to the (new) actors of evaluation and to facilitate the transition.
By redistributing the evaluation production activities, the new organization will allow INRA to reposition its strengths on its research activities around genetic evaluation, animal population management, analysis of new traits and to continue contributing to the valorization of the capital represented by the data collected from French animal genetic resources.

By maintaining a close link with professional partners, particularly within the joint technological units, INRA is preparing for tomorrow's applications, serving GenEval and all the professionals of the French genetic system, in a context of strong competition.


Scientific correspondant:

Associated Division: Animal Genetics

Associated research center: Jouy-en-josas

Inra Metaprogramme: SelGen



Priorité INRA du Document d'Orientation

#3Perf-4 : understanding and enabling transition