Linear Assessment Implementation

Linear Assessment Implementation


What can we do to correct “bad” locomotion?  This is a common question among many breeders.  In order to make an assessment of the current situation within the breed, Meurig James has assessed the sale bulls forward for both October 2022 and February 2023 sales.  These assessment scores (locomotion only) were compared with sale price to establish the relationship between locomotion score and price – see the graph below.

This analysis has shown that the biggest numbers of bulls were scored between 4 and 6 (average), with a still significant number were scored 3 or below, while a smaller number still were scored 7 or above.  There were no bulls with scores 3 or below that achieved prices above £8000, while those scored 4-6 achieved up to £17,500.  It is also worth noting that those bulls scored 7 or above achieved prices topped at £11,000, but did not top the sale.  It can be seen by the trend line (dotted line on the graph above) that the general trend, or relationship, between price and locomotion is positive, such that as the locomotion score increases so the does the price.

Demonstrating this positive relationship between locomotion score and price has been the catalyst for the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society to introduce a Linear Assessment, or Type Classification, which aims to provide an independent assessment of cows in your herd, reviewing the strengths and weaknesses to enhance longevity, health and welfare.  It provides an overall classification score for your cows, which can substantially increase their value.  The benefits of assessment include:

  • See your cows through fresh eyes
  • Classifiers score twenty-four individual ‘linear’ traits
  • Insight enables better corrective breeding decisions to be made
  • Identify the top percentage of the herd on type to breed your replacements from
  • Helps breed in good functional conformation and reduces unnecessary rearing costs
  • Once enough records have been collected they will be included in evaluation analyses, to enable these traits to be included in genetic selection indices.
  • Highly graded animals can have a considerably higher value than their non-classified counterpart

Meurig James, NBDC, will lead the classification team, who currently evaluate over 130,000 dairy and beef animals every year, including both Simmental and Beef Shorthorn. The NBDC classifiers operate an internationally recognised appraisal system which is used by the AI industry in the British Isles to provide reliable type proofs.


Linear assessment involves the measurement of 24 individual traits on a scale of 1-9, describing the degree of the trait rather than its desirability. It is all about balance.  The summary of weighting in the end total (Overall Type Classification Score) are as follows:

Scoring system used across beef breeds is:

Legs & feet                       30%

Udder                                20%

Body                                  25%

Breed character              25%

The individual scoring will work along the following guidelines:



This scheme is voluntary and funded by the breeder.  The costs associated with herd assessment are as follows:

Ex-VAT Amount
1-15 Minimum Fee (per hd) £108
16-100 Per hd £7.21
101-150 Per hd £3.61
151 + Per hd £2.58
Bull Classification Per hd £15.90
Special Visit Outside regular visit inclusive of 20 hd £210
Special Bull Visit Where a single bull is classified £108.00
Cancellation Fee Less than 3 days’ notice £108.00


Example Fee Calculation – 9 hd classified:    1 @ £108.00

Example Fee Calculation – 78 hd classified:  78 @ £7.21 + VAT

Example Fee Calculation – 178 hd classified:

100 @ £7.21 + VAT

50 @ £3.61 + VAT

28 @ £2.58 + VAT

Total = £973.74


To book a herd assessment please use the online form on the website which can be accessed at:


Scores will be uploaded to the ABRI database by your assessor and will be displayed against individual animals  –