IMAGE initiativet



Lige fra director of The SAVE Project Office, Waltraud Kugler, i august 2016 henvendte sig med anmodning om DGH´s bidrag til initiativet IMAGE, har vi bidraget med først en beskrivelse af arbejdet med opsporing og hjemtagning af gener fra den danske røde ko: Rød Dansk Malkerace, RDM 70.



På daværende tidspunkt havde vort team gennemført tre ekspeditioner i opsporingen af konserverede gener i form af tyresæd fra gamle RDM tyre, 40 til 50 år tilbage i tiden i henholdsvis: 1) Sydpolen, de nordlige Karpaterne, 2) Midtpolen og 3) Letland, Litauen og det nordlige Polen, over tre år. Senere på året 2016 gennemførtes endnu en ekspedition, denne gang til Estland – alle ekspeditionerne med overraskende resultater angående fund af såvel konserverede som levende genmaterialer. Spørgsmålet var og er: Hvordan får vi det hjemtaget og bragt i spil? Her kommer IMAGE ind i billedet. Der er naturligvis EU regulativer for området: gentransport over grænser. Regulativerne viser sig at være nødvendige mht. til at undgå sygdomsspredning, men også hindrende, når det kommer til fri bevægelighed over grænser. Selv de nyeste regulativer fra 1992, de tager ikke højde for fri bevægelighed i et moderne EU. De viser sig at være uklare. Fortolkningsvanskeligheder hæmmer og ødelægger brugen af gamle værdifulde gener I avlen. Der er brug for nye regulativer på området. Det arbejder IMAGE med.



IMAGE-mødet i Tallinn, Estland 27. august 2017


2nd IMAGE Dialogue Forum in Tallinn, Estonia on Sunday, 27th August 2017, a report by Hans Nebel


For a breeder of old rare breed and practicing search for gene-materials, conserved or/and alive, it was the most welcome initiative taken by SAVE, alias Waltraud and her collaborators, forming the IMAGE initiative and the making of now the second valuate meeting 2nd IMAGE Dialogue Forum in Tallinn, Estonia, on Sunday, 27th August 2017, gathering more them 40 people from various European countries on topics as


  • Focus on sanitary rules and regulations that effect the use and exchange of gene bank material in conservation and breeding [alive gene preservation]

  • Common standard for old materials

  • Simpler way for exchange of  material for all subject areas mentioned above


Having been around together with my team in four expeditions over three years visiting: Southern Poland uphill’s the Carpathian’s; next middle Poland, Cracow area; then Latvia, Lithuania and the north of Poland; latest Estonia – all places amazingly what we saw and found. We knew beforehand, that our Danish Red Cow was exported to more countries, popular as it was, especially for decades in the late 18 hundreds and in the beginning of the 19 hundreds up to the 1960-ties. Latest, as said, we visited Estonia in the autumn of 2016. The search was for: gene resources – cattle gene resources, sperm resources of our old Red Danish Milk-Cow 70 – all the way through we were looking for these unique gene resources, preserved or alive.


Having been through all the travelling, discussions with farmers and experts of the farmers breeding organizations, looking at cattle on cattle breeding farms etc. and negotiating for deals, we went back home applying for to have the materials imported to Denmark. Here it comes: the challenges, the obstacles. I am not happy by the fact, that I have to tell you, now 10 months after our visit in Estonia, we are still struggling for to have our 31 portions of sperm from well-known old Danish bulls and their offspring recognized by veterinarians and other scientific people, and transferred to Denmark – not due to difficulties with our nice colleges in Estonia: They have all the way through been easy to work with and patient - due, to what then? Both our countries are members of EU, as you know, with Estonia having the chairmanship at the moment.


Actually, we know about the rules and regulations of the EU. We even know about there is a before and an after 1992 regulations on the matter in EU. Though there are ways to handle even this phenomenon, we know too. The Vets and other scientific people they exactly know what to do. We practitioner we are following the rules, they demand, of course. We do not accept any deceases or anything else bothering our breeding. We have calf´s jumping around coming out of such old unique genes. Where to find the stumbling block? In the nowadays EU regulations or interpretations of them; perhaps in a bureaucracy here or there, who knows? We know we have to have it running: The exchange of gene material from old rare breed´s, transnational - by having it put on the agenda in EU. Serving our rare breeding´s in EU, we need new appropriate regulations, working transnational for the benefit of saving and bringing forward our valuable rare breeding’s, which we want to save, and for sure do not miss - with all its uniqueness.


Hopefully SAVE will succeed: Kicking the European Commission, EC, to make new simpler, modern rules to have an easy flow of old genes made possible! In this respect, I found the Estonian meeting promising - by its agenda and its carrying out the meeting by the good lead of Waltraud. Thanks so much!


August 30rd 2017 Hans Nebel 


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