This publication focuses on the various aspects of domestic animal recording, aimed at improving the management of herds and increasing their productivity. New strategies for recording are illustrated and the most updated technologies are presented, on the basis of national experiences where such technologies are already adopted. Although cattle is the prominent species, two parts are dedicated to small ruminants recording and to buffalo recording. Future challenges and opportunities for further development of ICAR and the definition of the future scenarios in the animal recording sector are also described. A special section is dedicated to "Improving the health traits by recording and evaluation", where the past and future of animal recording and the use of animal recording data for genetic evaluation and breeding are defined. Another section deals with the "ICAR Reference Laboratory Network", where the reference systems, the principles and the practices for calibration system for routine milk testing are presented. The publication ends with the national statistics on the "Yearly enquiry on the situation of milk recording in member countries" for the years 2003 and 2004. A total of 45 pages describes the methodologies used at national level for milk recording, the national data for milk production, the costs of recording and the productivity and numbers of recorded cattle at national level (divided by species and by herdbook).