8th World Merino Congress from the 3rd to the 5th of May, 2010 at the Bergerie Nationale of RambouilletLa Bergerie Nationale de Rambouillet
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World Merinos Conference - may 2010

The Bergerie Nationale at Rambouillet from sky

The Bergerie Nationale at Rambouillet

Under the High Patronage
of M. Nicolas SARKOZY,
President of the French Republic,

the 8th World Merino Congress will be held from the 3rd to the 5th of May, 2010 at the Bergerie Nationale of Rambouillet.

The Bergerie Nationale was created as an institution by Louis XVI to become a model farm for the development of innovation and acquired its worldwide renown thanks to its exceptional flock of Merino sheep imported from Spain at the express demand of the sovereign in 1786. In the 19th century, this flock came to play an important role in the improvement of sheep wool in many European countries and in the southern hemisphere through the export of its rams as sires.

Today, the Bergerie Nationale, is a state domain and the Presidential residence, located 50 km southwest of Paris and occupying 250 hectares of the 1,100 hectare estate. For over two centuries, the Bergerie has carried out its mission of experimentation and now is committed to demonstrating the virtues of multifunctional agriculture within the framework of sustainable development. However, the Bergerie is far more than a great farm at the gates of Paris. Since 1994, it has been a resource centre for sustainable agriculture and territorial development dedicated to training and project accompaniment.

The flock of Merino sheep maintained under controlled consanguinity since its arrival in 1786 is a scientific wonder. These animals are the direct descendents of the sires sent out around the world to create new breeds and bear witness to the interest of genetics and biodiversity conservation.

The 8th World Congress will cover the scientific and technical aspects of sheep-raising and of Merino sheep in particular in the perspective of sustainable development. The programme will enable attendees to gain insight into European policies and needs, all the while calling upon the contributions of international experts.

Simultaneous translation in French and English.


Main entrance of the Bergerie Nationale at Rambouillet
  • Sunday, 2 May

    • 17h00 : Opening of the exhibition “Rambouillet and the Bergerie Nationale : “Story of an unique relation”
    • 18h00 : Conference at the Chateau de Rambouillet, by Evelyne LEVER, historian
    • 19h00 : Cocktail at the Chateau

  • Monday, 3 May 2010

    'Merinoscope show day’ 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Exhibit of purebred French and Spanish merino sheep; exhibit and demonstrations of stock-breeding materials and equipment ; electronic identification; cutting up carcasses, preparation and tasting mutton ; European shearing competition… Some of the exhibits will be held over until May 5th. Optional nights out in Paris.

    1 - The Merinos of Rambouillet
    There will be ten rams and forty ewes on display at this historic site - the sheep-fold (Bergerie) of the Napoleonic period built at the beginning of the 19th century (1803).
    Partners: The Bergerie Nationale, Town of Rambouillet and Interbev Ovins (National Interprofessional Association for Livestock and Meat)

    1A - Merino of Rambouillet outdoor display.

    1B - Merino of Rambouillet (40 rams and 150 ewes) and other types kept at the Bergerie Nationale (Ile de France and Romane).

    2 - Electronic Identification
    Demonstrations of use of methods of electronic identification and management of flocks, presented by the principal suppliers. Central information display of the professional organisations of French breeding.

    Partner: French National Livestock Institute.

    3 - Shearing of Merino and Sorting of Wool
    Four-stand shearing platform with 4 shearers from the ATM and 4 Merino shearing specialists from Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Shearing will be carried out on some Merino ewes of Rambouillet and on 200 Merino d’Arles ewes from Provence. Fleece sorting and classification will be carried out by experts in this field.

    Partner: ATM (French Association of Sheep Shearers).

    4 – Merino Breeds
    Exhibition of Merino d’Arles, Merino Précoce, Est à Laine Merinos (Merinos of Eastern France), and Merino breeds, Ile de France and Berrichon du Cher, all displayed in the majestic buildings on the Napoleonic farm.

    Partner: Federation “Races de France”

    5 - French Breeds
    Exhibition of reproductive animals of a dozen French breeds grown for milking or butchering, with an international reputation.

    Partner: Féderation “Races de France”

    6 - Wools of Europe
    Presentation of the wool production of a hundred sheep breeds of Europe and their wool products. For each breed there will be a photograph of the animal, greasy wool samples and a product made from this wool.

    Partner: Association ATELIER (Association Textile Européenne de Liaison, d’Echange et de Recherche)

    7 - Leather and skins
    Live display around work with lamb skins and the skill of a cutter in a glove factory. Presentation of gloves, leather working and tools. Display of information on the profession and its formation.

    Partner: Syndicat Général des Cuirs et Peaux (Trade Union General of Leathers and Skins) , Fédération des Chambres Syndicales de la Ganterie de Peau de France(Gloves federation).

    8 - Genetics and reproduction
    French work on genomics, techniques of reproduction and in particular those implemented for artificial insemination. Historic role of the Bergerie Nationale and current training of the insemination technicians.

    Partners: UNCEIA – Union Nationale des Coopératives d’Elevage et d’Insémination Animale (National Union of the Co-operatives of Breeding and Animal Insemination) and ANIO (National Association for Ovine Insemination).

    9 - Meats
    Demonstrations of cutting of lamb carcasses and culinary preparation of meats. Tastings, promotion of French lamb.

    Partners: CIV – Centre d’Information des Viandes (Meat Information Centre) and Interbev Ovins (National Interprofessional Association for Livestock and Meat).

    10 - Dogs for control and protection of herds
    Presentations and demonstrations of the breeding techniques, training and use of dogs in control of the herds, shown by dogs of various breeds. Staged in the situation of protection dogs in the Montorgueil plain.

    Partner: French National Livestock Institute

    11 - Museum of the Merino of Rambouillet
    History of the arrival of the flock, of its evolution and the world diffusion of the breed. Current management of the flock. Materials of breeding.

    Partners: Bergerie Nationale, Town of Rambouillet, AFMA – Fédération des Musées de l’Agriculture et du Patrimoine rural (Federation of the Museums of Agriculture and Rural Inheritance) and Companions of the Bergerie Nationale.

    12 - Exhibition “Merinos and Town of Rambouillet”
    The objective is to loosen a new approach : that of a territory, an economy, an identity forged by the inter relation, the complementarity between the City and the Bergerie. Collect documents, paintings, contemporary objects.

    Partners: Town of Rambouillet and Bergerie Nationale

  • Tuesday May 4th

    Registration: 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

    1st Session : The Merino and Sheep production breeding

    • Welcome and Chair Alain SOPENA, Director of the Bergerie Nationale de Rambouillet
    • 9:10 : Merino sheep and their arrival in Rambouillet (1701-1787) - Louis REVELEAU (Companions of the Bergerie Nationale).
    • 9:40 : Merinization of flocks in France from 1787 on and the present-day management of the Rambouillet Merino flock Louis MONTMEAS (Ministry of Agriculture-DGER), Antoine BRIMBOEUF, Kevin BOISSET (Bergerie Nationale)
    • 10:10 : Merino sheep in Spain -J.A. FERNANDEZ (FEAGAS), J.A. de QUINTANA GOMEZ –BRAVO (ANCGM)

    Coffee Break : 10:40

    Opening Session: 9:30 – 10:30

      Mr. Nicolas SARKOZY,
    • President of the French Republic or by his representative, Mr Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Agriculture,
    • Mr. Gérard LARCHER, President of the French Senate, Mayor of Rambouillet,
    • Mr Jean-Frédéric POISSON, Deputy of Yvelines,
    • Mr Emmanuel COSTE, President of INTERBEV Sheep,
    • Mr Serge PREVERAUD, President of the Sheep Breeders National Federation,
    • Mr. Jean Paul HUCHON, President of the Ile de France Region,
    • Mr. Alain SCHMITZ, President of the Council General of the Yvelines Department
    • Ms. Christine BOUTIN, Former Minister, Councillor of the Canton of Rambouillet
    • Mr. Glen KEAMY, President of the World Federation of Merino Breeders.
    • Mr. Günther BEIER, President of International Wool Textile Organisation

      1st Session (2nd part)

      12:10 : Sheep breeding in Europe and France - Eric JULLIEN, Vincent BELLET (French National Livestock Institute)

      Lunch : 1:00-2:30

    2nd Session (2:30 - 5:00): Genetics applied to sheep-breeding

    • Chair Carlos Gil B. de Ubieta, descendant of the family that arranged for arrival of Merino sheep in Rambouillet (1786)
    • 2:30 - French programme of genetic improvement and modern methods of reproduction. Application to scrapie Gilles LAGRIFFOUL (French National Livestock Institute)
    • 3:00 -Genetics of the adaptation traits in sheep: behaviour, disease resistance, reproduction for genetic improvement, artificial insemination and adaptation to environment and markets. Dominique François (INRA SAGA Toulouse)
    • 3:30 - Research into interesting genes - C. MORENO (INRA SAGA, Toulouse)
    • 4:00 - Conservation of rare or limited-numbers breeds and genetic diversity - Coralie DANCHIN (French National Livestock Institute - BRG)

    4:30 Coffee break

    Poster Session (5:00 – 7:30)

    General Assembly of the World Federation of Merino Sheep Breeders

    Festive Dinner “à la Bergerie” 8:30

  • Wednesday May 5th

    3rd Session (9:00 – 12:30): Merino sheep and sustainable development

    Chair Yann ARTHUS BERTRAND or Joseph DAUL

      Methods and breeding systems associated with work, including protection from predators
    • 9:00 - Managing rural spaces with sheep: example from Northern Europe – flora and fauna - Joan CONINGTON (Scottish Agricultural College)
    • 9:30 - Managing rural spaces with sheep: Mediterranean example – The Arles merino sheep and transhumance: landscapes, wildfires, etc – Gérard GUERIN (French National Livestock Institute), Pierre Marie BOUQUET (INRA/ENSAM, Le Merle), Patrick FABRE (Maison de la Transhumance)
    • 10:00 – Rambouillet Merino in the USA - Daniel Waldron (Texas Agrilife Research)
    • 10:30 – Patagonian Merino – S. VILLAGRA, C. GIRAUDO (INTA Bariloche, Argentina)

    Coffee break 11:00

    Animal welfare: new rules and practices

    • 11:30 - European regulations and future prospects (Denis Simonin, European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumer, D5 Animal Welfare)
    • 12:00 - Animal welfare in Europe: viewpoints of a global evaluation at farm and contributions for livestock management (Alain Boissy , INRA URH Clermont Ferrand Theix)
    • 12:30 - Sheep transportation by road, sea. (R. Laporte, Expert consultant)

    Lunch 1:00 - 2:00

    4th Session (2:00 – 5:30) Merino Sheep: a quality product for the future

    Chair Emmanuel COSTE, Coordination by Hubert du POTET

    • 2:00 – Wool quality for production – Paul SWAN (Australia)
    • 2:30 – Users’ expectations, especially for high-quality ready-to-wear and designer clothes – Peter ACKROYD (United Kingdom)
    • 3:00 – The woolens industry in Europe – Hubert du POTET (French Federation of Woolens and Cottons Industries)
    • 3:30 – Processing local wool in European regions, small enterprises - Marie-Thérèse CHAUPIN (ATELIER)
    • 3:45 – The Arles Merino Antique Sheep : comfort and exceptional softness – Pierre BRUN (Manufacture Brun de Vian-Tiran)
    • 4:00 – New uses for wool in textile techniques outside of the clothing sector – Kurt Haselwander (Allemagne)
    • 4:30 Coffee break
    • 5:00 – Mutton: quality and economy in the European Union Anne MOTTET, Philippe CHOTTEAU (French National Livestock Institute – National Confederation of Stockbreeding)

    Close Session 5:30 – 6:00

    • Glen KEAMY, President of the World Federation of Merino Sheep Breeders
    • Mr. Günther BEIER, President of International Wool Textile Organisation
    • Alain SOPENA, Director of the Bergerie Nationale de Rambouillet

    Optional nights out in Paris



Simultaneous translation in French and English.

Click here to register and receive additional information


Ewe lambs Merinos de Rambouillet breed

Merino breeds
- The Mérinos d'Arles ('Arles' Merino sheep)
- L'Est à laine Mérinos (Merino sheep of eastern France)
- Merinos de Rambouillet (The Mérinos de Rambouillet)
- Le Mérinos précoce (Early-developing Merino)

World Merino Breeders’ Federation

The Federation was created in April of 1986 during the second World Congress in Spain and France at the Bergerie Nationale in Rambouillet.

The Federation presently has nine member countries: Argentina, Australia, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Spain, United States and Uruguay.

There is a world congress every four years with communications.

Please see the detailed history of the Congresses and communications with additional information.

The World Federation is based in Australia. See additional information.

The Federation publishes : Merino World

At the 7th World Congress of Merino Breeders in Perth Australia from the 12th to the 14th of July, 2006, the delegates to the World Federation of Merino Breeders present at the General Assembly of the Federation accepted the proposal from the French delegates to hold the 8th World Merino Breeders’ Congress in France in 2010 and, quite particularly, in Rambouillet. See additional information.

For more about general informations, click here

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- Cash by credit cards
- Certificat of attendance
- Exhibition, meeting areas
- Transports by plane or by train

Please click on Registrations


Poster session and Guidelines for the preparation of posters for Merinoscope2010


> Electronic submission for papers, click here


1. Poster session

Posters will be displayed throughout the conference and must be mounted at the latest by Tuesday morning, May 4th.

A special poster session with presentation will take place on Tuesday evening, May 4, from 17.00 to 19.30 h. Authors of posters are expected to stand by their posters during this time for discussion with delegates.

The size of the poster should be portrait and not exceed a width of 80 cm and a height of 120 cm.

Your poster number will be indicated by large printed figures in the upper corner of the poster board. Poster materials should be attached to boards with pins provided by the organisers

2. Making the poster

  • Poster must be written in English.

  • The ABC of a poster is to be Attractive and Audience adapted, and also Brief and Clear in conveying the message. You need to make delegates interested to look at your poster, to read it, and to easily find the most important points or “take-home” messages.

  • Posters with too much information, too much colour and too much design have weak messages. A simple graph (in colour), a table or a photograph will attract and aid understanding, but too many will confuse.

  • Make the poster fit the board, which will be 800 mm wide by 1200 mm long – this is the standard A0 size. Make sure to make your poster in portrait and not in landscape orientation.

  • Your poster can be made as a single-sheet poster created fully on a computer (e.g. in Power Point) and printed on a poster printer, usually on paper. If the paper is covered with plastic laminate a matt surface is preferable.

  • The poster can alternatively be produced as a multi-part poster, where individual elements (text sheets, figures, photos, etc) are mounted on a unifying background paper or card and split into four or maximum six segments for easy transport. The final mounting is done by you at the conference site where the segments are joined with wide tape on the back. Save some sheets/illustrations to mount finally to hide parts of the joints.

  • The poster content is often presented in sections under headings such as Objectives, Introduction, Methods, Results and Conclusions, but you might also use more informal headings, e.g. short statements or questions. The content can be arranged in columns or rows, or in some other structure, e.g. circular.

  • Each section of the poster should contain just a few important messages, written in a few words. Bullet points are easier to read and to understand than long paragraphs of text. Remember that the most important messages of the poster, e.g. the conclusions, should be placed where you think the audience will notice them best. They might also be highlighted.

  • The poster title should be placed at the top of the poster, and be the same title as in the meeting program. The title should be followed by the author names and addresses. A small photo of the poster presenter near to the name(s) might help the audience know who to approach for questions and discussion.

  • Text size must be large so that the poster can be read from a distance. The title should be 2.5 cm high, text about 1 cm high.

  • Photocopy enlargements should be avoided as they produce poor quality

  • Tables and figures should be easy to read and to understand. A written take-home message next to the table or figure might help.

  • Illustrations such as photographs are useful to enhance a poster, but remember that there should be a balance between text and illustrations.

  • Logos should be discrete – this is a scientific meeting (10 cm x 10 cm maximum).

  • Colours can be useful to highlight, separate, or associate information, and to “harmonise” the poster. Using too many colours might distract or give an uncoordinated effect.

  • No references in the poster.

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Last update : Monday, April 26th, 2010