About Veepro

Veepro Holland is the information center for Dutch (dairy) cattle.

Main goal is to support the export of dairy cattle, semen and embryos all over the world.

Activities:

  • Giving information about the latest developments in the dairy sector in the Netherlands, such as cattle improvement and animal health;
  • Supporting dairy farming by means of practical training courses, management manuals, etc.
  • Acting as an intermediate between authorities and the private sector concerning export conditions.

Veepro Holland is the Information Centre for Dutch Cattle. Main goal of the organization is to facilitate the export of Dutch genetics. Dutch genetics refers
to breeding cattle (mainly pregnant heifers of the Holstein-Friesian breed), semen and embryos.
The organization was founded in 1969 by the Agricultural Board, the Royal Dutch Cattle Syndicate (NRS) and the Royal Cooperative Friesian Cattle
Syndicate (FRS). The main goal was and is to encourage the export of Dutch dairy cattle, semen and embryos.

Nowadays Veepro Holland is financed and boarded by ExportNet and the Cooperative Cattle Improvement Association ‘CR Delta’. Veepro Holland is an privately owned and independent organization with an independent chairman.
Our organization works in close contact with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) which, together with Veepro Holland, prepare the health certificates for the export of cattle, the Farmers’ Union (LTO), the GD Animal Health Service, cattle improvement organizations and exporters of dairy cattle, semen and embryos.

The Netherlands is the cradle of the worldwide famous Holstein-Friesian cows. As early as the 19th century, the first Friesian-Dutch cows were exported to the U.S. and Canada. As the 20th century progressed, the black and white cows spread out all over Europe and the rest of the world. Since 1990, the Netherlands has a leading position when it comes to genetic quality of the black and white Holstein-Friesian cows. A little less known, but in no way inferior, are the Dutch red and white cows.

Main tasks of Veepro Holland

Veepro Holland works all over the world. In the past decennia there have been contacts with more than 100 countries. The main tasks of Veepro Holland are:
Information
Veepro Holland gives information about dairy cattle improvement and health care.
Means:
magazines, exhibitions, information tours, seminars, videos, brochures, excursions, trade missions etc.
Management Support
Veepro Holland supports dairy husbandry, dairy cattle improvement and health care.
Means:
training courses, seminars, management manuals, management advices, articles, brochures etc.
Trade Support
Veepro Holland tries to prevent and to remove veterinary, zootechnical and other trade barriers.
Means:
advising authorities in the Netherlands and abroad; advising the NVWA with the preparation of health certificates, advising the GD Animal Health Service and cattle improvement organizations; advising dairy farmers and exporters of dairy cattle, semen and embryos; supporting the Dutch Chief Veterinary Officer etc.

Genetic potential

The Dutch dairy cow population primarily owes its high quality to its genetic potential. The basis for this genetic potential can be found in the high level of participation of Dutch dairy farmers in breeding activities like herd book registration, milk recording, type classification, and artificial insemination (AI). Nowhere in the world, the level of dairy farmer participation in these activities is as high as in the Netherlands.

As a result, AI organizations can develop and implement fine-tuned breeding programs. The most important selection criteria are milk production, fat and protein percentage, age durability, functional traits (udder, feet and legs), fertility, health, calving ease, and type. The indexes for calculating the breeding values are constantly updated according to the newest scientific insights.

Despite the quality of a herd regarding their genetic potential without proper management, the Holstein-Friesians wouldn’t be able to live up to their genetic potential. Optimal hygienic care, accurately balanced feeding, adequate climate control, and optimal care with regard to health, udders and feet and legs are essential to optimize the genetic potential of the animals.
The Netherlands has an integrated system of education, research, and consultancy. The objective is continuous education of dairy farmers.

Animal health (Identification and Registration)

Animal health and animal welfare are important issues for Dutch dairy farmers. Lots of time, energy, and money are invested in programs to propel the health status of Dutch dairy cattle to an even higher level. These programs are all based on the very sophisticated identification and registration system, that makes lifetime tractability possible. This means that in case of a disease outbreak, it is possible to trace animals and their contacts, identify where contamination might have taken place, etc., within a very short period of time. This I&R system is also of great importance for the veterinary and zootechnic guarantees that are required when exporting live breeding cattle, semen, and embryos.

Production results

This combination of genetic potential, optimal dairy management, and animal health surveillance, has created the Dutch Holstein Friesian cow. Our HF cows belong to the top producers of the world for many years now.
The black and white Holstein-Friesians in milk recording produce an average of 8,735 kg in 305 days, and the red and whites 7,944 kg. The fat and protein production of both the black and whites and red and whites is extremely high (fat % 4.27 resp.4.48 and protein % 3.47 and 3.58) The Dutch-bred bulls, without exception, hold high positions in international rankings.
Therefore it is not surprising that the Netherlands exports several ten thousands in-calf heifers, millions of doses of semen and hundreds of embryos per year.

Cooperation and competition

The key words for the success of Dutch dairy farming are cooperation (between dairy farmers, between dairy farmers and organizations, between dairy farmers and the government) and competition. At first glance these are two contradictory factors, but in reality they are the perfect breeding ground for toplevel dairy farming.

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