Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 22nd May 2020

Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 22nd May 2020


Here is the last Bi-Weekly update for the month of May, where does the time go? We should be preparing and looking forward to upcoming summer shows but with the current circumstances there will none of that happening this year. Here is to 2021 summer shows!

We hope your all staying safe and well, here is an update on what has been happening over the last 14 days within the society….

News Roundup – 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of 1st June 2020 members should no longer submit their DNA tissue samples to Identigen. Instead we would like you to send them direct to the society office. ‘Pedigree House’, 6 King’s Place, Perth, PH2 8AD.

We are in the process of switching our DNA testing regime to one laboratory. If you could please ensure that any packaging etc. you may have is re-labelled to the correct address this will ensure a smooth transition. If you have any questions regarding this please contact Caroline, Fiona or Yvonne. 

NB It is very important that you do not include any other correspondence with the samples as these packages will not be opened but kept refrigerated from arrival and sent on weekly to our provider.


DNA Testing Changes Announcement

H&H Online Timed Auction:

The Annual Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society Spring Sale at Carlisle was held in the form of an Online Timed Auction commencing on Friday 8th May and reaching its conclusion on Tuesday 12th May. A total of 18 bulls were sold achieving a pleasing average of £3944 given the current circumstances.

Topping the sale at £8000 was Tonley Juno Eric U552 from Neil Wattie’s Aberdeenshire based herd. Juno Eric was sired by Blelack Evor H929 and out of Tonley Julie Erica J604. He has found his new home with Messrs Weir from Stow, Galashields.

Following closely behind was Alasdair Houston’s Gretnahouse Florian U070 sold for the next best price of £7000. Sired by 18,000gns Haymount Precursor and out of Gretnahouse Fleur, Florian was purchased by Messrs Gardiner, Lyne of Skene, Aberdeenshire.

For the full report please click here

SRUC Premium Cattle Health Scheme:

SRUC Premium Cattle Health Scheme have released a statement due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
To view the statement please click here

(The Premium Cattle Health Scheme section is halfway down the page)

SRUC are trying to keep members informed through Facebook as well as putting any news of general interest on there.


UA STIRLING – United Auctions May Multibreed Sale will NOT be taking place as a live breeding sale, but United Auctions will help buyers and sellers with direct marketing of bull off-farm. To purchase a bull or receive more information, please contact Raymond Kennedy – 07545 207927. To view the catalogue please click here

Champions of The Decade:

The Scottish Farmer Champions of The Decade has been a real hit and the Aberdeen-Angus votes have now been counted and the three finalists have been selected which can be seen in last week’s Scottish Farmer. The Society has now picked our judge which we are they sure will make a great job! We look forward to our judge choosing his Champion and letting you all know in a Scottish Farmer press release in the next few weeks.


With our spring society sales being affected by outbreak of COVID-19, we would like to remind members of our stock for sale & stock wanted sections on our website.

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).

Angus Angels – HELP IS AT HAND – In the light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and its anticipated spread we believe the colleges are closed for an elongated break and rather than waste the talent that may well be out there we as a Society are looking to set up a national network of Stock people who could step in to help any farms who find themselves short of labour through self-isolation or family tragedy which it is anticipated there might be some. Click here to find out more and see CV’S/information.

Spring Newsletter: We are pleased to announce that the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society Spring Newsletter for 2020 is now available to read online and download. Please click here to see our Spring Newsletter.

Office Closure & Staff Contact Information:

The office is now closed till further notice; we will keep all the membership up to date as much as we can with this situation. All members of staff are now set up and working from home.
The staff in Pedigree House are all committed to making this work as well as we can and also committed to thinking about everything that we do to streamline the transfer of information to the membership which we will keep you updated on as it happens.

In the current circumstances E-mail is by far our favoured method of communication and systems of electronic transfer of information to you will also be the most favoured route so please embrace this change and let’s make it work and the whole business work smarter going forward.
We are committed to delivering the best level of service that we can to you given the current circumstances that prevail; there are bound to be occasions where for reasons beyond our control we cannot. Please bear with us in our quest to take very seriously the Government’s instructions to “Stay Home” and we hope that everyone stays as safe and well as possible until we get through these difficult and trying times.

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[email protected]
Laura Stewart, Office Manager[email protected]
Caroline Ford, Registrations[email protected]
Fiona Flood, Registrations[email protected]
Yvonne Buchanan, Registrations[email protected]
Amy Johnstone, Pedigree Cattle Services, Stock For Sale, Stock Wanted, Website & Social Media Updates[email protected]
Barbara Webster, Pedigree Cattle Services[email protected]
Helena Stewart, Aberdeen-Angus Accounts & Pedigree Cattle Services[email protected]

News & Notices from The CEO Barrie Turner:

• Another two weeks goes by and the office staff are still working remotely but I have to say hats off to them all for managing the change well.
• Covid-19 has certainly brought its challenges in a number of ways, shows sales and above most the way that we communicate with each other.
• I have had some feedback from the membership on the performance of the two main sales that H&H and UA have adopted to help market some bulls in place of the sales. I am awaiting the individual reports from both on how they felt it went.
• We have dipped our toe in the water with Zoom and are finding it a really great way of communicating swiftly and safely. This is what you see and in a meeting all participants have their screens up “ Virtual Meetings” are here!

• We have been working this week on setting up a subscribed service with Zoom and will be expanding its use across the society.
• We will be holding an HR Committee meeting on Zoom next Thursday to keep up with all matters HR and the reworking of the office when normality whatever that may be returns!
• We are working to enable all the office staff to have the facility to host Zoom meetings and to help move matters at committee level forward in between Council meetings.
• Board meeting of the PCS directors is also scheduled for Monday evening again on Zoom.
• For all the English readers of this Scotland’s progress through the COVID-19 they are slightly behind in the advancement of the disease and therefore the status of lockdown. A slight easing of the rules will become effective on the 28th of May but not enough for the Office to return to normal working.
• Our new Marketing team have been busy with Amy Johnstone in setting up a new approach to social media and the web and how we market the society through the different channels available to us. Keep your eyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the posts and please share them to spread the message.
• As been reported recently we are embarking on a new pathway for the way that we handle DNA testing going forward. The rationale behind this will follow and be communicated to you within the next 10 days.
• A major change for all will be that the samples taken on farm need to be sent to Pedigree House and NOT to Identigen from the first week in June. We will be posting this on all channels and sending out emails to all the membership and ensure that this fundamental change is communicated to all.
• This is a huge task and is involving the registrations team, ABRI in Australia and Identigen to get this right but we do need your cooperation and help in the next stage.
• Identigen are very much still very important partners with us on the Aberdeen-Angus Beef Scheme and we are negotiating the ways of working with them going forward.
• We in the office have a feeling that Lambing, and Calving may be drawing to a close for 2020 as the phones have started ringing again! Everyone seems to be catching up on paperwork at the same time.
• The registration process is currently following the spring calving peak at about 4 weeks, hampered a little by current working conditions so please be patient, we will get to everyone hopefully before they are really required for transfer.
• Export shipments have resumed with a couple of consignments being shipped to France please be aware any cattle being shipped abroad need to be accompanied by the new style of pedigree certificate on shipping and the certificate forms the essential Zootechnical Certificate needed in the EU for all cattle registered so please ensure that you apply to the registrations department for these.
• The ongoing four year battle to extend our breeding programme to The Federal Republic of Germany continues with a further communication of refusal being received and is being challenged as to the reasons for that refusal which seem to be invalid.
• Embryos and semen exports also need to be accompanied with the appropriate forms so again please contact the office if you are exporting shipments of either above for the details.
• We continue our investigations into several member issues many and varied where the rules governing registrations into the herd book are being challenged. We will do what we can but cannot compromise the integrity of the herd book in any way.
• We continue as a team to deliver to the best of our ability the member services that we are obliged to do under the unprecedented conditions that we are currently under.
• This is testament to the commitment of the staff at Pedigree House to do the above, I was asked by a member this week why we can’t acknowledge the receipt of a request and it is quite simple as a team we receive upwards of 1000 E mails per day and this would be a huge undertaking.
• I hope that this keeps you in the picture of some of the activity in the Society over the last couple of weeks and the list above is only just the salient bits there is much more day to day issues that we deal with.
• Above all we all hope that you and your families are keeping safe regardless of which Government that you are under and we hope that some sort of normality can return to our activities before too long.

News & Notices from The Accounts Department:

• REMINDER TO ALL MEMBERS WHEN MAKING PAYMENTS – that membership number/invoice number are foremost in the reference as they show when making payments, then surname/trade name. This saves a lot of time searching through the payments trying to sort out what payment matches up with what member.

News & Notices from the Registrations Department:

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of 1st June 2020, members should no longer submit their DNA tissue samples to Identigen. Instead we would like you to send them direct to the society office. ‘Pedigree House’, 6 King’s Place, Perth, PH2 8AD.

We are in the process of switching our DNA testing regime to one laboratory. If you could please ensure that any packaging etc. you may have is re-labelled to the correct address this will ensure a smooth transition. If you have any questions regarding this please contact Caroline, Fiona or Yvonne.

• Registrations are quite simply flying in. We are trying our best to keep on top of these and get your certificates out in a timely fashion. Where we have an e-mail address for you, we will now send invoices direct. Please check your junk folder in case any communication lands there. If we have any error/query reports on calf registrations, they will also be emailed to you. It is a new way of working but we are finding it is all ticking along smoothly.

• Any correspondence. i.e. transfer of ownership, new members or members submitting paper registrations, should be posted in to Pedigree House in the normal way. A member of staff is in the office every 2nd day so we are still very much active in all areas of the Registration Dept albeit it may take slightly longer for turnaround.

• FOR NOW – DNA samples should still be sent to IDENTIGEN in the normal way. Again, if samples are sent off in a timely fashion, turnaround for processing registrations and getting certificates back to you will be a lot quicker.

• We are also requesting breeders to check the DNA status of their stock bulls. We are looking for working bulls who only have a Microsatellite DNA profile. It would speed up the transition to SNPS DNA testing if we could get these bulls profiled again on the new SNPS platform. It is unfortunate that the two systems are not compatible. Please get in touch if you think your bull might need retested.

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services:

• Breedplan Scanners: Breedplan Scanners are back on the road now. At the moment they will just be scanning local (within a couple of hour’s drive) as there is no accommodation available. Hopefully, they will catch up with the backlog soon. Please contact them if you need scanning done so they can schedule you in…, if you require any up to date weigh sheets please contact either Barbara, Helena or Amy.
• Due to the Coronavirus restrictions in place the scanners were not back on the roads until the start of May. To have at least growth EBVs in place, can breeders please weigh their cattle before turning out. As scan data can be accepted up to 30 months of age hopefully the scanners can catch up with the backlog later in the year if the situation allows.
•We are up to date with weights at the moment but with communications being a bit hampered if you would like your weights to be included in the next ABRI run (9th June) please send them in with plenty of time available pre the close off date.
•Email is a must on this so please send to Barbara directly: [email protected]
• If any members have photos of sale animals, and you would like them uploaded onto the website catalogue please send them to either Barbara or Amy.

News & Notices from the Ireland Office:


Several marts are holding special sales of pedigree breeding bulls in locations across Ireland. These sales are observing strict social distancing protocols with many marts operating the entire sale online with customers registering in advance to place their bids. It is advised to contact your local mart for more details and dates of any upcoming sales.


Several breeders have pedigree Aberdeen-Angus bulls for sale privately and potential customers are encouraged to contact them directly. Please click here for a list of breeders in your area who may have bulls for sale presently:

From us all at the Society have a great weekend and STAY SAFE!

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