Welcome to the World Jersey Cattle Bureau



by Derrick Frigot (Jersey Island)

Europe was the venue for the 2006 annual meetings of the WJCB and all who visited Switzerland will remember the remarkable tour organised by Dr Ruedi Müller and his colleagues from the Swiss Jersey Association.  It was an exhilarating experience and gave visitors a wonderful insight to the outstanding progress of the Jersey breed in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.  We certainly appreciated the excellent hospitality of all the breeders and thank Ruedi and his team for a fantastic tour.  May I also personally thank the Swiss Jersey Association for inviting me to judge their first national Jersey show and congratulate all exhibitors for the fine display of Jerseys at Zug.

The Jersey scene in Europe is an exciting one with all countries experiencing an upsurge in the breed, mainly against a downturn in numbers of dairy cattle across the continent.  Denmark continues to be the main provider of Jerseys and they exported a little under 3,000 animals to 13 different European countries, including new homes for the Jersey in Greece, the Canary Islands and the Azores, as well as other non-member countries of the WJCB, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania and Russia.  Perhaps there is potential for new members of the Bureau in the coming years?  It seems that some of the Eastern European countries are moving towards component pricing which will encourage dairymen to consider establishing more Jersey herds.

A motivating development for the WJCB at this year’s annual meeting in Brazil will be to accept the application of the “Unioni I Fermereve ALDA Jersej” – the Jersey Farmer’s Union Albania – shortened to ALDA, to become the newest national Jersey association member.  This will increase the European national members to thirteen.

In Albania, there are about 16,000 pure Jersey cows and more than 140,000 Jersey crossbreds.  ALDA Jersey has seven local associations with 350 members than manage about 1,900 purebred Jerseys.   

Danish Jerseys again increased their national production average to 6436 kgs 5.92% fat 4.06% protein with 59,948 cows recorded.  The trend towards larger herds is continuing with an average of 105 cows per herd, and the breed represents 11.8% of all dairy bovines.  Semen exports from Denmark again increased in 2006 with 144,000 units of Jersey semen exported globally.  The Danes have been very successful in producing sexed semen and seven Jersey bulls are available to their breeders.  It is intended that sexed semen from proven Jersey bulls will be available worldwide from January 2008. Last January I was fortunate to be invited to judge the Danish Jersey national winter show at Herning where an outstanding exhibition of dairy bovines was on display. This caused me to think back to my first visit to Denmark in 1972 for the 7th international conference of the WJCB.  The improvement in the Danish Jersey in those interim years has been remarkable, and this is also reflected on the massive influence that Danish Jerseys has on the breed globally today.

Italy continues its Jersey growth and the national production average in 2006 was 5857 kgs milk 5.28% fat 4.00% protein – this is for 6346 cows in 656 herds and posts an increase of 50% in the number of cows and 58% increase in herds with Jerseys in ten years.  

With the 18th International conference of the WJCB in Jersey in May 2008, activity towards the final arrangements for the tours of England, Jersey and France is reaching feverish level. The pre-conference tour starts from London Heathrow on Saturday 10th May 2008 and takes visitors to some of England’s most beautiful areas.  A number of notable English Jersey herds will be visited providing a unique opportunity for breeders to see the progress of the British Jersey.  That progress is quite remarkable with breed registrations at 11310 pure-bred females – an 8% increase on 2005 and 16% over 2003, and 5924 Jersey-sired crossbred females which are 17% above 2005 and a massive 55% since 2003!  Among the dairy breeds, Jerseys accounted for 47% of the non-black and white pure female animals and 42% of cross-breeds.

Over 20,000 cows were officially recorded in 2006 with a 305 day average of 5513 kgs milk 5.41% fat 3.82% protein which was the biggest gain in production over all breeds.  In addition, NMR (National Milk Records) analysis of youngstock numbers on farms highlights that the Jersey breed is set for further growth as breeding female youngstock totalled 118% of the milking population – this compares with 96% for Ayrshires, 97% for Holsteins and 99% for Guernseys.

In France, the situation for the Jersey breed is also buoyant with growing numbers of herds.  Today there are 323 registered herds with Jerseys, with an estimated 2714 pure Jersey cows and a little fewer than 800 cross-breds.  The national production average is 333 days 5530 kgs milk 5.59% fat 4.02% protein.  For the past five years France has increased its number of Jersey cows by 200 per annum. The 2008 plans for the visit to France will include some very good herds in the Loire region along with visits to some very special places in the western part of the country, finally ending in Paris, one of the most romantic capitals of the world.

To conclude, the Island of Jersey, hosts of the 18th International Conference of the WJCB, will be ready with the red carpet for all visiting Jersey breeders in 2008.  May in Jersey is just a stunning time to be in the Island and we have a programme packed with exciting things to see and do. The most significant happening in the dairy industry in Jersey is a recent vote by the Island’s dairy farmers to petition the Island’s government to change the existing law to allow the importation of semen into Jersey for the first time in history.  Visiting Jersey breeders will not see any offspring of international sires in May 2008, but they may well see cows that are in calf to some of the world’s leading proven Jersey sires!  We welcome one and all to the home of the breed in 2008.

Respectfully submitted.

Derrick I Frigot
Vice President for Europe, World Jersey Cattle Bureau

                                                                                 June 2007


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