Breeding News Breeding News

WBFSH Seminar - Steen Bo Larsen


Steen Bo Larsen (Photo:
Steen Bo Larsen (Photo:
Presentation of DWB database and the Danish Pilot-project:

Registration of diseases

In Denmark there is a long tradition for registration of diseases in cattle. The registration is closely connected to legislation. A selection of specific diagnoses, correlated to health and milk production have been registered by veterinarians for 90-95 % of all cows in Denmark for many years. The diagnoses have been stored in an central database by the Danish Agricultural Advisory Center along with breeding data, pedigrees, economics and milk production data. All data are linked together for every specific animal. The very high percentage of cows in the database and the very high complexity of data, has given the opportunity to the Danish vets to make very exact calculations on what the farmer should do in his heard and what the cost benefit of the plan would be. This tool is unique in the world and puts Denmark in the lead world wide in cattle research.

The same opportunity to make a database, based on disease diagnoses, pedigrees, and sport results is now opening up for horses. The Danish Horse vets all operate on the same or similar software making it easy to collect and report data to the central horse database by the Danish Agricultural Advisory Center. The system is already working and all horses in Denmark will be microchipped within 12 months and subsequently registered in the database. Diagnoses from all horses go into the database under individual specific numbers.

From a veterinary point of view, this gives the opportunity to make cohort studies, retrospective studies and prevalence studies on the total Danish horse population or on specific populations off breeds. 99 percent of Danish Horse veterinarians are organised in The Danish Equine Veterinary Association. This association puts a lot of effort into “quality control” and generalised high standards of care.

The Danish Equine Veterinary Association, and the Copenhagen University of Life Science are working together to find the perfect set up for diagnoses in the register to make it possible to evaluate the durability of horses.

The veterinary worksheet in the database will include pedigree data, medical information and The Danish Riding Association will also add Sport results to the database. This will eventually give a database which includes broad information on all horses in Denmark regardless of breed.

Hopefully, at the end of the day, this unique and massive combination of data will give the Breeding Associations the opportunity to make more reliable selection index for stallions and mares in the breeding industry.