Policies Regarding Undesirable Genetic Factors
Effective February 22, 1983
Revised July 27, 2011; November 2, 2012; August 19, 2013; March 16, 2014; June 24, 2014; June 27, 2018; November 2, 2018; and November 6, 2020.
Download printable version of this policy (PDF), complete with designated conditions with descriptions.
Every effort should be made within the breed to identify those animals that carry undesirable genetic factors. The American Jersey Cattle Association considers it the responsibility and obligation of each member of the Association and each breeder of Jersey cattle to report to the Executive Secretary any known case of an abnormal Jersey animal. The Executive Secretary shall maintain records of abnormalities and shall make available information from such records in accordance with rules established by the Board of Directors from time to time.
The Board of Directors considers it to be unethical practice to offer for sale an animal, male or female, an embryo or semen from an animal that has been designated a carrier of an undesirable genetic factor without first informing the prospective buyer of this fact. In practice this means that any advertising, descriptive material, or pedigree containing a designated carrier of an undesirable genetic factor shall carry a statement indicating designated carriers.
This statement of policy is made in belief that it is in the best interests of the breed and the breeders of Jersey cattle. It is made in the belief that it will serve the position of those who have taken the more difficult, positive, open approach to this fundamental concept of ethics in the improved breeding of dairy cattle. In the long run, all serve to gain by such a policy, but only to the degree that all cooperate in the acceptance and enforcement of this policy.
In determining what genetic factors are considered to be undesirable in the Jersey breed, the Board of Directors shall consider such evidence as it considers appropriate. The Executive Secretary shall make such investigations of genetic factors occurring in Jersey animals as he or she may believe necessary or advisable and shall report the results of his or her investigations to the Board of Directors. Before recommending that the Board make a determination regarding the existence of an undesirable genetic factor, the Executive Secretary shall consult with at least two experts whose recommendations shall be submitted to the Board.
When the Board of Directors shall determine that an undesirable genetic factor exists in the Jersey breed, the Board shall take whatever action it may consider appropriate to control and limit the genetic factor. Such action will include procedures to identify animals that are probable carriers of the undesirable genetic factor and to inform persons having an interest in the Jersey breed of the identity of such probable carriers. The procedures for publication of the identity of probable carrier animals, referred to as “designated” carriers, are contained in supplemental statements adopted with respect to each undesirable genetic condition.
For each undesirable genetic condition the Board of Directors shall adopt a separate statement of procedures for designating animals, referred to as “Statement of Designation Procedures,” and designate an official report form to be used for reporting affected animals. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for designating animals as carriers of an undesirable genetic factor. When an animal has been designated as a carrier, the Executive Secretary shall notify the last recorded owner, the breeder, any lessee, and any third-party nominator by email on file at American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA). If email is not on file, results and notification of undesirable genetic factor status are delivered by regular U.S. Mail to the address on file at AJCA. The undesirable genetic factor status may change with updates in technology and additional genomic testing of related animals.
The Board of Directors may adopt procedures and rules by which a Jersey may be progeny tested for a particular undesirable genetic factor. The rules and procedures for progeny testing are contained in supplemental statements adopted with respect to each undesirable genetic condition.
The policy of the Association is to identify and designate Jersey animals as carriers of undesirable genetic factors when (1) genomic detection based on DNA analyses and/or (2) documentation of their own progeny is sufficient to accomplish designation.
Male and Female Animals
The Executive Secretary shall maintain a record of all animals that have been designated carriers of an undesirable genetic factor, and designation shall be noted on all advertising, descriptive material, or pedigrees published by the Association containing reference to a designated carrier. The Association shall also notify the recorded owner, the breeder, any lessee, and any third-party nominator if the animal carries an undesirable genetic factor.
Except as provided in this statement of policies, no information concerning the genetic condition of any animal shall be released by the Association without approval of the Board of Directors.
Male Animals Only
When the Association receives an official report of an affected animal, the Executive Secretary shall so inform the last recorded owner, the breeder, and the lessee, if any, of the sire of such an animal by regular mail; and thereafter he or she shall routinely inform the breeder, the owner, and the lessee of that sire of the receipt of any additional reports and supporting documentation required by the applicable Statement of Designation Procedures and of such additional information as he/she shall deem appropriate.
When the Association receives an official report that an animal is affected with an undesirable genetic condition and that report is accompanied by the documentation required by the applicable Statement of Designation Procedures and if the sire of the animal described in the report is the son or grandson of a designated carrier or an affected animal, the Executive Secretary shall prepare a statement containing information as he or she, in his or her sole discretion, shall deem appropriate with respect to such sire. Such statement shall be furnished to the last recorded owner, the breeder, and the lessee, if any, of the sire and to any AI organization that is currently is offering for sale semen obtained from the sire. The statement shall also be furnished to any other person who requests information from the Association concerning the sire.
The identification of bulls designated as carriers of undesirable genetic factors shall be published in the Jersey Journal from time to time in such manner as the Executive Secretary shall determine.
For each undesirable genetic condition the Board of Directors shall establish policies for the marketing of carrier animals and their progeny in all sales sponsored or managed by the Association or Jersey Marketing Service.