Animal Breeders´ Association of Estonia (ABAE)
In 1993 founded Animal Breeders´ Association of Estonia (ABAE) is a private organization joining dairy and beef breeders.
Cooperative ownership in breeding sphere is very common worldwide. ABAE cooperates with European and American organizations in exchange of breeding materials and information, common seminars and conferences are arranged, foreign experts judge national shows.
ABAE has 600 members who are active farmers and use services offered by association.
The main activities are herdbook keeping; collection, storage and marketing of semen and embryos; AI activities; issuing pedigree certificates; organization of cattle shows; cattle and semen import-export; evaluation of AI bulls and training for farmers.
Fact that our herdbook celebrated 130thanniversary in 2015 proves the continuity of historical cattle breeding traditions in Estonia.
There are 170 test, waiting and proven bulls in AI station of ABAE and more than 500,000 doses of high quality semen are produced per year. AI station is approved according to EEC88/407 regulation which allows selling semen all over EU. We have exported semen to Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Germany, Turkey and The Netherlands. Semen is collected from bulls of 3 dairy and 10 beef breeds. Each bull gets proofs for daughters´ performance and functional traits (health, udder, F&L, fertility, milking speed, productive life etc.). The criteria of selection AI bulls are very strict. A lot of foreign proven bulls are leased to collect semen from in Estonia. About 35,000 doses of semen from European and American top bulls are imported annually. Sexed semen is being used to get more female progeny. Genome bulls are becoming more and more popular.
ABAE certifies AI technicians. There are more than 300 AI technicians.
Improvement of feeding and farm conditions has increased breeding success. Half of Estonian dairy cattle are housed in modern farms reconstructed or built after 2002. During 2005-2017, milk yield has increased 3110 kg per cow.
Increased milk production and free status from infectious diseases have made Estonian cattle attractive for foreign farmers. Since 1991, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Georgia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia have bought breeding heifers.
ABAE is in close cooperation with Estonian University of Life Sciences to develop new breeding and AI techniques. In 2007, in the premises of ABAE in Märja experimental farm of the university was opened to support studies of animal husbandry and scientific work.
ABAE is an active member of the World Holstein-Friesian Federation, the European Holstein and Red Holstein Confederation, the Association of European Red Dairy Breeds, and the World Hereford Council. Together with Rural Development Foundation the best dairy and beef breeders are selected every year.