Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 21st August 2020

Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 21st August 2020


News Roundup:



As you will be aware the society has recently implemented some changes to our DNA testing procedures. As of 1st June 2020, you should forward your samples directly to the society office.

‘Pedigree House’
6 King’s Place

We are in the final stages of switching all our DNA testing regime to one laboratory. Our aim is to streamline and speed up the process and ensure accuracy. We have also updated the programming software that we use to manage the DNA going forward.

The society has invested heavily in DNA testing over the last few years for the benefit of the breeders. The Society currently funds the testing for all male registered calves to be DNA profiled on the new SNPS platform. It has become apparent as we develop our systems and processes that in around 50% of cases, we request a test and we have had no sample submitted to perform that test on.

We need all members to implement the sample sending promptly to enable a sample to be accessed to be processed. To enable us to manage this testing it is vital that you submit your tissue samples to the office within 21 days of birth.

If we process a registration, submit a test request to the lab, and do not have a tissue sample on file we cannot subsequently go back and request a test at a later date. The new automated process relies on the sample being in storage before the registration is completed and the test request is actioned. If we do not have a tissue sample on file the request will not be actioned, therefore we assume you do not wish to take up the society’s offer of free testing of Male Registrations.

We are trying to improve our services and turnaround times to prevent delays in issuing pedigree certificates. There is only so far, we can go with this that is within our control, we need your help in achieving efficiencies.

Could you please ensure that you send your DNA samples to us on a very regular basis and within the 21 days if it’s one, twenty or one hundred samples it makes no difference, please pack them off to Pedigree house within 21 days of sampling and we will deal with them from there.

We appreciate your co-operation with this slight change in submission of samples.

Kind regards
Caroline, Fiona and Yvonne

Southern Autumn Sale of Pedigree Aberdeen-Angus – Worcester Livestock Market – Saturday 26th September 2020: CANCELLED

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Farm North East –

Have you picked up the latest 100th edition of Farm North East? Head to page 31 to read how Aberdeen-Angus is the perfect breed to help beef producers meet the changing carcase specifications to meet the latest eating experience trends, with our CEO Barrie Turner and Aberdeen-Angus farmer Jim Fowlie

To all YDP Participants –

We are looking for each of our YDP participants to take over the YDP Instagram page @aberdeenangusydp for a week over the summer and into the autumn months.
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.


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).

Aberdeen-Angus Herd for Sale:

An Aberdeen-Angus herd is up for sale in the South West of England area, the breeder would rather they were sold in one lot.

For more information please contact Amy – [email protected]

(The breeder wishes to stay anonymous at this time).

 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]
Caroline Ford, Registrations, Sales (01738 448341) – [email protected]
Fiona Flood, Registrations, New member enquiries (01738 448342) – [email protected]
Yvonne Buchanan, Registrations, Merchandise (01738 448340) – [email protected]
Amy Johnstone, Pedigree Cattle Services, Stock For Sale, Stock Wanted, Website & Social Media Updates (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 the CEO, Barrie Turner:

  • The staff at Pedigree house continue to work remotely from the office but we have stepped up the attendance to the office as it will help everyone just keep up with post and mailings sending out pedigrees etc.
  • We continue developing our strategy for returning to the office with the installation of screens in the multi occupancy offices downstairs in Pedigree house. Kept the CEO busy for an hour or two at the weekend with installation. The DIY skills learned during lockdown helped!


  • I thank all the staff for their continued support of our activities while under COVID restrictions and for stepping up to the changes in our approach to a return to work.
  • Printing is the big issue that we face when working remotely as well as the IT system that we employ to make that happen. We did not anticipate the crisis to go on for so long but we have too many outages that is affecting our ability to deliver so our IT are looking into making it more robust as the frustration that outages cause is clear to be seen!
  • COVID-19 has not gone away and we have reported outbreaks in Perthshire with two Schools being closed after their return and a Chicken Factory nearby having a cluster of positives in their workforce.
  • The process of upgrading our DNA module continues with minor tweaks to make it work efficiently for us and speed up the registration process. This has been far bigger a task than I ever anticipated and has been a major contribution to our backlog of registrations.
  • Please bear with us and I assure you that the correspondence that you are expecting from the office will be in process if you have managed to do your inputting. We are dealing with many phone calls as a team and me as a CEO about this and it is hampering our efforts to catch up.
  • New ways of working continue, and Zoom becomes a bigger part of what we do, there committee meetings and a Council meeting in the last period ensured that we keep the Society business moving forward even in these trying times.
  • Many thanks to all the council and committee members for making themselves available for the meetings and making them a successful part of the process which we will continue to utilise as we progress through and post COVID to make us more efficient.
  • The Cud is under construction which will include a report on Council proceedings as an update for you and will only be available online on the web site.
  • As soon as that is out, we will be starting to pull together a very different review this year with more case studies and technical information as well as new and interesting subjects to replace the show and sale reports.
  • Information will be in the Cud as to booking adverts this year and I am hoping that this years review will be a really good read and with hopefully the upturn in the beef price we will see increased engagement from the membership support.
  • This could have been driven a bit by the lack of sales and more stock being sold at home it’s good to advertise your herd in the go to reference work for everyone wanting to access Aberdeen-Angus Genetics in the UK. Book Early!!
  • Our branded Society face masks have arrived in Both UK and Irish branding and we also have some washable ones coming to add to the accessories details for ordering will be in the Cud.
  • Continuing to develop our four-pillar strategy with Pinstone PR our new marketing team, again in the cud there will be a piece on the team there so that you can all see the resource that we have engaged with.
  • Dialogue with retailers and processors continues around our strategy going forward and how we can help add to the party as a Society and maintain the position in the marketplace that we enjoy as a breed and a brand
  • I sourced an interesting book that justifies meat eating but better quality meat eating that contributes to the planet and gives a very compelling argument that the “Sacred Cow” is absolutely key to our existence some great messages that we can use in our marketing going forward Just need the time to read it!

  • The Godfrey Neale award applications have now closed, and we will be judging the entries over the next week and making the awards to the successful candidates in due course.
  • We continue to work with the other breed societies around the globe on the entry requirements of their Genetics into the UK and Europe.
  • As a reminder to all members engaging in Embryo imports and exports the rules have changed and you need Zootechnical Certificates from the society of Origin which will be available on the web site. There are no exceptions to this if we want to maintain our trade with the EU post Brexit on 31/12/2020.
  • We are working with the American Angus Association to get some clarification on their SNP reporting on Parentage verification particularly on imported embryos and the quantity of SNP markers that we require for verification.
  • Independent Geneticist advice being sought to help us through the maize of a specialist field to get everything right and correct as it should be.
  • Debate at all levels continues to find out more about the AI companies and their relationships with Schemes and retailers to understand the mission that they are on as there have been some interesting press releases of late that are concerning.
  • The digital version of Willie McLarens breed history is coming to fruition and hopefully that will be available soon. Thanks to Willie, Bob Anderson, Eddie Gillanders and John Elliot Senior for their input to this and bringing the process to a conclusion hopefully this weekend.
  • The format for the autumn sales is still under review with all parties trying to get a close to normal conditions as is possible under current guidelines which vary depending on the country.
  • At this point sales without shows and a reduced time for stock to arrive go through the process and being sold is the “Draft Options” as soon as a format at each of our locations is confirmed we will be announcing what that will be.
  • I must report that Andrew Shufflebotham has passed away after a battle with cancer that he finally lost on Wednesday this week. Andrew was a well-known member to many, on council retiring this year in February and was a real advocate about the Society and the breed as well as being a very passionate Chair of the YDP committee. He will be sadly missed, and our condolences go to Sarah and the family at this sad time.
  • This is just some but by no means all the business of the Society over the last period there is much more that is simply not possible to include in a summary.
  • The closing message stays the same to you all, please keep safe and well throughout these uncertain times

News & Notices from the Office Manager, Laura Stewart:

The committee and Council meetings were held over the past fortnight by Zoom and this worked well in progressing matters.  Minutes are being produced and a report of what was discussed will be available for members to read in The Cud which will be available as a digital version in the near future.  As always, if a member has any issues they wish to raise they should do so by contacting their local Council member, details can be found by clicking here

News & Notices from the Accounts Department:


When making payment through the internet banking, please ensure that you quote your MEMBERSHIP NUMBER and SURNAME as a refence.  This ensures that your payment is allocated to the correct account.


In order to try and save on postage costs we would like to send our invoices by email.  If you have not already done so, can you please provide us with your details? Please click on the link below –


News & Notices from the Registrations Department:

The team in Registrations are working through the backlog of registrations – please bear with us and we will get to your batches as soon as we can.

DNA samples are being scanned at Weatherbys and the information is uploaded to our database.  We have sent the first requests for testing and the results are gradually coming back.  You will get an email telling you when tests have been requested.

This year for the first time we are testing females when they have their first calf.

We will have more information next week about changes coming in to embryo paperwork to comply with EU rules – watch this space.

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services:

Breedplan have recently released some short videos – the videos give a short overview of the methods and considerations when recording performance information for the breedplan traits. Click here to view a short video on recording data for breedplan.

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

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