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Beef cattle in the Czech Republic

The Czech Beef Breeders Association (ČSCHMS) is the organisation, which is authorised by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic to co-ordinate and organise a selection program for all beef breeds reared in the Czech Republic. Since it was established in 1990, the ČSCHMS' main objectives are especially:
  • performance recording,
  • evaluation of animals,
  • selection of young bulls for breeding at performance test stations (both for insemination and natural services bulls),
  • estimation of breeding values (with assistance of Agricultural Research Institute in Prague),
  • keeping of a Herd-Book for all beef breeds,
  • the promotion of beef cattle (shows, seminars), etc.
The ČSCHMS operates all over the Czech Republic and associates breeders of all beef breeds (Aberdeen angus, Belgian Blue, Blonde d´Aquitaine, Galloway, Gasconne, Hereford, Highland, Charolais, Limousine, Beef Simental, Piemontese, Salers). Within the ČSCHMS, breeders' clubs for particular breeds have been established. These breeders' clubs are independent in coordinating the breeding aims and tools of a particular breed - they assign the selection program, standard of breeds and all other matters regarding their breed.

Until 2000 the selection work was based on weights of animals (growth potential) and observing the calving and birth weight of calves. In 2000, breeding values (BV) were published for the first time. Estimation of BV is published for bulls, cows and calves. Breeding values are calculated for calving ease, birth weight of calves and weights at age of 120, 210 and 365 days, exterior and daily gain at performance test station. Estimation of BV is made separately for paternal (direct) and maternal effect. Since 2002 the breeding values have also been calculated as relative - indexes (mean = 100, one standard deviation = 10).

The national system of testing bulls for breeding is carried out at performance test stations, which must be approved by Ministry of Agricultural of the Czech Republic for that purpose. In 2003 there were six main stations in the Czech republic. Only the bulls from selected mothers and fathers can enter the performance test station - bull-calves born from assortative matings of bull-dams x bull-sires. The bull as well as his parents must fulfil the criteria of the selection program. Inspectors of the Czech Beef Breeders Association supervise that the bulls are bred and fattened according to the correct testing methods. They also measure and weigh the bulls before they enter the station, during the test and at the end of the test period. At the age of 13 months the test ends and on the basis of performance, breeding values, exterior and fulfilment of breed standard, a panel of breeders selects the bulls.

During the past two years the average daily gain during the test period is between 1600 - 1800 g, in many cases even higher. Annually about 9500 bull-calves are born in the Czech Republic. From them are selected about 600 best bulls for natural service and insemination.
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