Cross-Referencing Foreign Pig Registration Numbers with Canadian Tattoos

By the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement Inc - There is an interest in using foreign evaluations to enhance the accuracy of Canadian evaluations for imported animals, and more importantly, the accuracy of EBVs on their progeny that are tested in Canada.
calendar icon 1 January 2005
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However, foreign evaluations will be available with the foreign registration numbers of each animal, while in Canada, foreign animals are identified by a tattoo in the performance recording systems. It is therefore necessary to cross-reference the tattoos and registration numbers in order to be able to make use of the foreign evaluations.

CLRC has in place a system which can store both the foreign registration numbers and the tattoos. However, tattoos are only routinely assigned for the individual pigs that are registered in Canada. Foreign parents often appear with only the foreign registration number. This is normally the case for a foreign AI sire when only his semen is imported. Nevertheless, CLRC has assigned tattoos to parents on request in the past, and more recently has indicated that they can routinely generate tattoos provided the country of origin, registration number (or ear notch for US animals), and birth year are available. Details of the procedure used to generate tattoos are found here.

In the performance recording programs, tattoos must be provided for parents. In such cases, the breeder or technician must determine what the tattoo is for any foreign parents, such as an AI sire whose semen was imported by the breeder. This assignment of tattoos for the foreign parents has not always been done consistently. The same foreign sire used by different breeders could therefore be identified with more than one tattoo. The evaluation system will treat the sire as different animals in such cases, resulting in multiple evaluations for the same sire.

CLRC sends registration data monthly to CCSI. If a tattoo is available which matches the tattoo that breeders or technicians have used for a foreign sire, the cross-reference is automatically added to the CCSI database. If any performance tested progeny have been registered, and the tattoo used for the foreign sire doesn't match CLRC's tattoo, a conflict will be identified.

CCSI also sends performance data, including pedigree information, to CLRC once a month. CLRC uses this information to check for any existing conflicts with their database, as well as any conflicts when new registration applications come in. The breeders and regional centres are contacted to resolve any conflicts. This will identify cases where foreign tattoos are incorrectly assigned.

Possible steps to a complete and accurate cross-reference list:

  1. CLRC will automatically assign tattoos, whenever possible, for all foreign pigs

  2. Breeders and technicians should follow the attached procedure to assign tattoos to foreign sires, and verify with CLRC that the tattoos used are correct

  3. Allow one or two months for the 1st step to build up the cross-reference list.

  4. CCSI could generate a list of all foreign tattoos that don't have a corresponding foreign registration number in the CCSI database.

  5. Regional centres could provide CLRC with the necessary information (i.e. foreign registration number or ear notch, and birth year) for any animals of interest. CLRC would then assign the tattoos for these animals.

Source: Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement Inc. - December 1999
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