The Federal Association of Austrian Cattle Breeders is the umbrella organisation of all Austrian Cattle Breeding Organisations. Members are the Cattle Breeding Organisations, the Federal Recording Organisations, the Chambers of Agriculture, the Semen Collection and Semen Storage Centers as well as the Breed Organisations. These associations are joined together in study groups, according to the breed, which plan, set up and co-ordinate the breeding programmes.
22,000 farms in Austria with more than 400,000 cows in the herdbook are working on the systematic improvement of the breeding population for individual breeds. The herds are grouped together in 18 cattle breeding associations.
Milk production testing is performed in Austria in accordance with the guidelines of the International Agreement on Recording Practices. Testing is carried out by about 1500 employees working for independent provincial testing associations.
The estimation of the breeding values is done centrally for all breeds and traits by the Federation of Austrian Cattle Breeders in conformity in cooperation with Germany.
The animals in Austria are regularly inspected to ensure the highest standards of safety. Using the cattle data bank operated by Agrarmarkt Austria, trading with livestock is rigorously monitored.
The sale of breeding animals is organised by the cattle breeder's association and takes place in the form of 150 cattle auctions and on commission from the farm.
All of the breeding animals, semen and embryos from Austria originate from farms which are recognised by the authorities to be free of Tuberculosis in cattle (mycobacterium bovis), Brucellosis in cattle (brucella abortus), Enzootic leucosis in cattle (Bovines Leukosevirus, Retrovirus), Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (Bovines Herpesvirus type 1, BHV1). Austria has attained the lowest possible level of BSE risk status, namely that of "negligible BSE risk".