Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 15th January 2021

Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 15th January 2021


Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 15th January 2021:

Happy New Year! Here is the first Bi-Weekly Update of 2021…




Due to unforeseen circumstances there will be a delay in issuing the Annual Report this year due to Covid-19 and a delay in the audit process (due to the auditors being on furlough for part of the year and now they have a backlog to catch up on). Rest assured this will be mailed out to the membership as soon as it is practically possible.

The AGM will NOT be taking place as usual in February 2021 at the Stirling Bull Sales due to the Covid-19 restrictions and a delay with the Annual Report.  We envisage this taking place via zoom to protect the health of our membership. As soon as we know more we will let you know.

Society Announcement – The Sad Passing of Bernard Mairs:

MAIRS, BERNARD – Called home December 28th 2020, peacefully at hospital, late of Hillhead Road, Ballyclare. Long loving husband of Florence, guiding and encouraging father of Helen, Jane, William and Grace, delighted grandfather of Alexander and Stephanie, cherished by the extended family and a character to the end. The funeral will be private and for family only due to current regulations. The service will be streamed online, details to follow. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to N.I. Chest Heart & Stroke c/o Fleming & Cuthbert Funeral Directors, 141 Mill Road, Ballyclare, BT39 9DZ or by telephone 028 93344242. Family and friends are invited to contribute to a memories and condolences page by clicking here 

Our thoughts go out to the family at this sad time.

UK Government Update on Movement Assistance Scheme to Support Agrifood Traders:

Please see link below to UK Government Guidance and Support on the Movement Assistance Scheme in respect of moving agrifoods to Northern Ireland.

New support for traders and businesses goes live today with the launch of the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS), to help them meet new requirements for moving animals, plants and associated products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland after the transition period ends.”

Export or move live animals and animal products to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021

United Auctions, Stirling February Bull Sales – Postponed:

Following Scottish Government guidance, the Stirling February Bull Sales will now take place on Saturday 20th February to Monday 22nd February.

The sale will be livestreamed along with an online bidding facility.

The final programme will be available nearer the time.

Please click here to view our online catalogue.

Upcoming Society Sales:
Dungannon – Tuesday 9th February 2021
Stirling – Monday 22nd February 2021
Thainstone – Wednesday 24th February 2021
To view our online catalogues for these upcoming sales please click here


REVIEW Appeal on Behalf of Tom Burke, American Angus Hall of Fame:

Tom Burke from the American Angus Hall of Fame is missing the following volumes from his REVIEW collection –

Old editions: 1, 15, 18, 21, 22, 23, 31, 34, 37, 38

New editions: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9

If anyone has any duplicate copies that they are prepared to let go to complete the collection in America of the volumes listed above if you could contact Kim at the American Angus Hall of Fame – [email protected]

Identifying Strategies for Profitable and Sustainable Farming – The Royal Vet College:

The Royal Vet College and University of Hertfordshire need the help of British beef cattle farmers to identify farm strategies linked to profitable and sustainable farming. Plus there’s a chance of winning one of ten gift cards worth £750, £400, £100 or £50!

The survey is part of the larger project run by the universities; Achieving more sustainable British beef and sheep food systems in a changing environment that has the ultimate aim of making a series of policy recommendations to improve sustainability of the beef and sheep sectors. The survey only takes about 30-35 minutes and can be completed online by clicking here. Alternatively, Louise (one of the researchers at RVC) can call you to go through it with you or answer any questions you have. She can be contacted on 01707 669634 or by email [email protected] to arrange this. Please feel free to share the survey link with other GB beef cattle farmers, all responses are greatly received and really help to ensure everyone is heard.

Premier Pedigree Spring Sale 27th March 2021 at Melton Mowbray:

The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society will be supporting the Premier Pedigree Spring Sale at Melton Mowbray on Saturday 27th March 2021.

Closing date for entries is Thursday 25th February 2021.

Entry Forms are available from Melton Mowbray Market – 01664 562 971.

The plan is to have a Show if permitted (depending on the coronavirus situation come March).

If showing goes ahead the market is planning on starting at 9:00am or possibly earlier and the sale to begin at 12:00.

Inspections are suggested to be on the Friday night starting at 4pm through till 6pm (TBC).

Once the Society receives more information, we will update the membership.

YDP Instagram Takeover: 

We are looking for each of our YDP participants to take over the YDP Instagram page @aberdeenangusydp.

If you have an interesting week planned on the farm, or an exciting trip planned, or just your varied life on the farm then please contact us to book your week.

Our members are looking forward to varied, fun and fresh, posts, videos and photos from you.
Email: [email protected] to book your week.

Stock for Sale & Stock Wanted:

If you would like to advertise stock for sale & stock wanted on our website then please send all the relevant information, contact information along with pictures/videos to Amy: [email protected]

Potential buyers can contact members directly.

(Stock for sale is for Aberdeen-Angus members to advertise only. We only publish adverts for pedigree Aberdeen-Angus stock).

Staff Update:

The staff are all still working from home and continue as a team to deliver to the best of their ability to the membership. Due to the volume of emails that are being received at present please bear with us and we will reply as soon as we possibly can.

In order to work more efficiently in relation to the large volume of emails that are received, please be aware that the [email protected] email address is being wound down and is no longer monitored regularly. Should you email this address you will receive a standard reply to this effect asking you to email the correct person from the contact us page on the website, so that your enquiry can be dealt with as quickly as possible by the person responsible for the particular task. To make this process more streamlined, we are currently working to update the contact us page with a brief description of the main duties that each member of staff deal with to help you select the most appropriate person to contact.

By contacting the correct person by email in the first instance we hope that you will receive a quicker response to your enquiry and urge you to do this going forward so please embrace this change and let’s make it work and the whole business work smarter going forward.
To be able to contact the staff, please see email addresses below. By emailing us this is our most favoured method of communication

Barrie Turner, CEO (01738 448345) – [email protected]

Laura Stewart, Office Manager (01738 448343) – [email protected]

Angela Cumming, Accounts (01738 448344) – [email protected]

Caroline Ford, Registrations, Sales (01738 448341) – [email protected]

Fiona Flood, Registrations, New member enquiries (01738 448342) – [email protected]

Amy Johnstone, Shows & Sales, Stock For Sale, Stock Wanted, Website & Social Media (01738 448348) – [email protected]

Barbara Webster, Pedigree Cattle Services (01738 448346) – [email protected]

Helena Stewart, Aberdeen-Angus Accounts & Pedigree Cattle Services (01738 448347) – [email protected]

News & Notices from CEO, Barrie Turner:

  • This is my first opportunity to wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2021 although the start of the year seems to indicate more of the same as last year.
  • Covid-19 is still wreaking havoc throughout the country with tougher and tougher restrictions being put in place by Government.
  • The REVIEW has now finally gone to print, a bit delayed as again due to efficiencies affected by working remotely with all parties a weeks delay in the whole process was inevitable.
  • My thanks to Amy Johnstone, Natalie Cormack and the team at Pinstone for persevering with this years REVIEW.
  • The office and our workflow is unfortunately not exempt from being affected by the continued pressure that this brings.
  • We have owing to restrictions in Scotland had to revert to “Lockdown 1” restriction practices in that staff can only attend the office in matters of unavoidable necessity with all staff working remotely wherever possible.
  • This is not an easy thing to do and timelines, telephone communications and many of our regular functions are affected adversely by this and we continue to ask for you’re understanding.
  • Our priority to the staff is to keep them and their families safe as much as possible and as an employer we are duty bound to do that and work round the circumstances that prevail at the time to keep the Society working to the best effect.
  • I have been continually reporting via the Bi-Weekly update that we have been working towards the continuation of our relationship post Brexit with our members in the EU and the Republic of Ireland.
  • EU Zootechnical rules dictate that no animal that is not resident in an EU member state can be registered in a herd book outside the EU meaning that our members in any EU member state can no longer register with us.
  • This has meant that we have had to seek a licence in Ireland to be recognised by the competent authority as a Breed society and run a herd book. We were granted the license on the 30th December 2020 so a bit like Brexit really down to the wire but we got there.
  • The infrastructure is now the next stage to get in place as to how that works although it is subject to the EU regulations the intentions is to keep our affiliation, Aberdeen-Angus rules and regulations intact and aligned.
  • We were also notified by the competent authority in Scotland that we are included as a breed society list approved by the EU for third countries. This means that our gateway to the EU for livestock and trade apart from registrations is still open.
  • We held the Committee and Council meetings by Zoom in December a very different Council meeting to the normal one at Christmas where all of council descend on Pedigree house for a couple of days.
  • A big thank you to the Pedigree House committee leads for attending these and also to Laura Stewart for a challenging quick turnaround of the minutes from committees to arranging agenda for council in super quick fashion.
  • There were the usual matters of Breed Promotions, Technical, Health now including shows and sales Finance and the YDP all brought together and discussed in full council where appropriate.
  • Owing to Covid-19 we have had a reasonable year financially and the Society continues in good stead with many savings made on the costs rather than higher income.
  • There are some further changes in the staffing requirement in Pedigree house and with the shift of the registrations of the Republic of Ireland now being possible a complete revisit to our staffing levels and task allocation is underway.
  • The DNA module is still taking a little bedding in but the information flows are getting the wrinkles ironed out. Thanks to Fiona and Caroline for sticking to the task and working through this seemingly endless task.
  • Big thanks to Fiona in Registrations for filling the breach left by Yvonne’s departure and managing to get the Irish registrations all but caught up by year end. Some extra hours were required to do this but in this case needs must.
  • The recent changes to the lockdown restrictions have meant to putting back of the bull sale dates at UA as publicised. The continued unknown is a concern but we are working with UA to try and get to as near to the normal again that restrictions will allow.
  • A big step forward is that there will be available an online platform for bidding at the sale which was brought up by a number of people following October restricted activity.
  • Contact from Angus Hall of Fame Tom Burke known to many breeders here in the UK for some back copies of the REVIEW to complete their collection and appeal for some missing volumes that we do not have out on the web.
  • Argentine Aberdeen-Angus 100th Anniversary book has needed some input from the Society in Scotland from the Archives. I believe it is near completion and its Scottish roots are well documented.
  • Work on the DNA testing procedures has been picked up again post-Christmas and a sub committee of the technical committee has been added to our resource on this to keep it at the forefront of our determination.
  • We had the PCS board meeting this week where a review of the past years performance of our subsidiary was discussed with another successful year.
  • A big thank you to Angela Cumming for her administrative skill in arranging the meeting sorting agenda and taking the minutes and also congratulations on a flawless Audit report from the auditors who could find no fault in or practices.
  • The HR committees’ efforts over the year have been implemented a process which culminates in remuneration for the staff being reviewed in December and communicated to all concerned.
  • This is some but not all of the tasks that we have been involved in from the office and we strive to keep everything going despite the very strange working environment that we are under at the moment.
  • Please keep yourselves safe and well until the next reporting period.

News & Notices from the Accounts Department:

A kindly reminder that membership for 2021 is now due to be paid, if not already done so.  You can pay by either cheque, internet banking or credit card.  Please don’t forget to quote your membership number when making payments.




Due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be a delay in issuing the Annual Report this year due to Covid-19 and a delay in the audit process (due to the auditors being on furlough for part of the year and now they have a backlog to catch up on).  Rest assured this will be mailed out to the membership as soon as it is practically possible.

The AGM will NOT be taking place as usual in February 2021 at the Stirling Bull Sales due to the Covid-19 restrictions and a delay with the Annual Report.  We envisage this taking place via zoom to protect the health of our membership.  As soon as we know more, we will let you know.

News & Notices from the Registrations Department:

Happy New Year from Caroline & Fiona in Registration Dept. We are currently on catch up after the holiday season, so please bear with us in relation to Registrations and DNA results.

Year Letter for 2021 is “X”

Should you submit your registrations using software such as FARMPLAN or FARMDATA etc. Please email your files directly to [email protected]  or [email protected]

DNA tissue samples should be posted to PEDIGREE HOUSE, please ensure you put correct postage on and package samples carefully.  Paper envelopes are not ideal as they tend to get damaged whilst going through the postage system and we have noticed on occasion envelopes which should contain samples to be empty or the samples damaged.

Should we ask you for a hair sample, please pull the hair, make sure it is clean, dry and free of any muck or debris.  The better the sample quality the easier it is for the lab to obtain a result.

Should you be planning on flushing a female, please check to see if she has a sire verified DNA result on file.  She will also require a 50k SNPS profile. Contact the registration department should you have any queries regarding this.

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services:

If any members have photos of sale animals, and you would like them uploaded onto the website catalogues please send them directly to Barbara: [email protected]

Days to Calving:

To add more accuracy to the days to calving EBVs and include a measure of cow fertility in Breedplan evaluations, the Society would like to encourage breeders to record whole-herd reproductive performance by using the approved ‘Days to Calving’ excel spreadsheet to submit data to Breedplan.

The ‘Days to Calving’ EBV is also a major component of the new Maternal index under development. Identifying the most fertile bloodlines will help breeders in selecting the most productive and hence most profitable cows.

Please note: Information will be accepted from previous years’ data. Please ensure absolute accuracy in your submissions. Do not ‘guestimate’ information or use incomplete data.

Below is the days to calving template to give you an example on how it works and also your own template for submitting:

A-A Template for Submitting Service Information

Understanding Days to Calving EBVs

From us all at the Society have a great weekend and stay safe!

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