Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 27th November 2020

Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 27th November 2020


Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 27th November 2020:

2021 REVIEW:

Both deadlines for booking and submitting artwork are now past but there is still some outstanding artwork from members still to be sent in, please send it in ASAP as we are in the middle of organising the layout for going to print. All artwork should be sent to Natalie: [email protected]

Upcoming Society Sales:


  • The Northern Ireland Aberdeen-Angus club will be holding a sale for pedigree Aberdeen-Angus cattle.
  • Tuesday 1st December 2020
  • Dungannon Farmers Mart, 90 Granville Road, BT70 1NJ
  • Catalogue

Stirling February Bull Sales 2021:

(Sale dates to be confirmed after closing date)

Enter online by clicking here


Can you please contact the registrations department to let them know what animals you are planning on entering, this is to make sure all testing is done prior to the sale.

Please ensure all animals are DNA parentage & myostatin tested and your herd health is up to date.

The registrations team can be contacted on 01738 622477 or email Caroline: [email protected]

Aberdeen & Northern Marts – Pedigree Bull Sale 2021:

Aberdeen & Northern Marts will be holding their annual sale of pedigree bulls at the Thainstone Centre on Wednesday 24th February 2021.

Entries close on Monday 4th January.

Please ensure that your bulls have been DNA parentage tested, Myostatin tested and your herd health is up to date before the Christmas holidays to ensure there is plenty time to process them prior to the closing date.

The registrations team can be contacted on 01738 622477 or email Caroline: [email protected]

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions ANM have advised there will not be a pre-show and will be conducted as a sale only.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Rachael Reid 01467 623707 or John Angus 07801 186312.

Exporting or moving GB livestock to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1st January 2021:
From 1st January 2021 the UK will trade with the EU as a third country. New rules for entry into the EU of certain animals and products from third countries including livestock will apply in 2021.
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the same requirements will apply for these live animal movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
This means that we will have to use a two-letter ISO country code ‘GB’ to identify livestock exported to EU Member States or moved to Northern Ireland.
The UK currently uses the identifier ‘UK’ in accordance with EU rules for Member States. From 2021, we will need to include a visual identifier which displays GB for animals intended for exported or moved to the EU or moved to Northern Ireland.
The following video explains the export tagging options for different species and would also apply when tagging animals for movement to Northern Ireland.
(To read the each page on the video please click pause).

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 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 CEO, Barrie Turner:

  • Starting off with the update on our Covid-19 position and I have no changes to report to our working practices all staff still defaulting to work from home as per the guidelines with one member of the team attending the office Mon- Thurs with a floating day on Friday.
  • I can’t stress enough that this is not a normal working conditions, and I have taken one or two calls from members who are not getting an answer when calling the office.
  • The phones in the office can be picked up by anyone as the phone diverts to the other handsets if unanswered or destination is busy on another call. We have not now got that luxury.
  • The phones are diverted to the staff mobile numbers during their working hours and messages can be left on their mobile phones outside those hours but possibly will not be answered.
  • Please be patient and if the call is unanswered leave a message and that staff member will get back to you but call volume is such that it may take some time. Please if possible, email any of the staff and then we will have your enquiry on our systems.
  • Yvonne has now officially left the Society and came in for a brief handover to Fiona on her last day which I am grateful to them both for facilitating this and we wish Yvonne well.
  • The loss of an extra pair of hands has just compounded our workload with an extra piece to sort out for our Irish members well done to Caroline and Fiona for stepping up to the plate.
  • The department is very much under pressure until such time as several things fall into place so please bear with us and we will resume normal service as soon as we can.
  • Laura Stewart has been preparing arranging and distributing information for the upcoming committee and council meetings in December a full-on job to bring everyone together for the meetings well done to her for achieving that.
  • I have had to deal with several issues with embryos of late, where flushed females have not got DNA SNP profiles THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT AS CALVES CANNOT BE REGISTERED WITHOUT THEM! Embryos cannot be exported either, please read and follow the rules when engaging in these activities.
  • Please ensure when you are flushing that both sires and dams have 50k SNP profiles on file not having these may mean that you work time and money is wasted.
  • Big piece of work ongoing on our testing system for DNA to narrow down why we may be seeing a higher than normal failure rate. Meetings trials and discussions are ongoing to resolve as quickly as possible.
  • A report in the BBC Highlands and Islands was brought to my attention prompting a letter to be written to the BBC about the content which read like Aberdeen-Angus was out of favour.

  • Knocknagael Bull Stud serving a rent a bull service of high-quality genetic sires to hundreds of Crofters, otherwise which would be beyond the reach of their finances is an essential service.
  • The letter supported the continuation of the Bull Stud and also put right the mis representation of the presence and stature of Aberdeen -Angus in today’s marketplace. John Cowan the Stud manager is a regular purchaser at the bull sales of good quality Aberdeen-Angus!
  • Breed promotions work continues at a pace with strong levels of activity with the Review, press releases, social media, advertising planned webinars and so on all pretty hectic now.
  • Shows and sales have already started to fall over for next year with communications from several quarters on either no show or very much reduced activities to have one proposed.
  • 55 copies have already gone out to members and non-members of Willie McLarens presentation. Might be a nice Christmas gift for someone you know!
  • We continue to engage with the parties concerned in the Republic of Ireland to establish a solution beyond Brexit many thanks to all those concerned for their time.
  • The Review for 2020 is now at a frenzy, please get all your artwork in as deadline dates are critical for design and print to ensure that I don’t receive hundreds of phone calls on the 5th of January asking where the review is!
  • A big hand this year from, Natalie Cormack, Amy Johnstone, Jen and Becky from Pinstone so thank you all from me, as well as all contributors of content.
  • Print and post is the first job at the printers after the Christmas break when they return on the 4th of January, logistics after that are at the vagaries of the postal service depending on where you live.
  • We are receiving more and more requests for registrations of embryo calves, we need DNA on file of both sire and dam to parent verify, as per the rules, the calves and register them in the herd book. Imported ones needs the information from the Society from whence they came.
  • The Tesco and Foyle meats project is being rolled out with sires of a high genetic merit being marked on the database. Thanks to Barbara Webster for her help with this and a bit of a long drawn out manual job it is! Look out for the mark…

  • In discussions on various parts of the relationship that we have with Cogent and Genus and progressing and investigating better and more ways of working with them.
  • I met with the HR Committee this week for part two of our annual reviews some further work to be done alongside them to be able to conclude ways forward for next year.
  • I “virtually” attended the Sainsbury Farming conference this year where they outlined their overall strategy going forward, key parts are focus on food, Environment, and brands. With further interesting insights into the business.

  • Closing date for February Bull sale is upon us and discussions with UA on various formats for February depend on entries and guidance measures in place at the time as to what format that will take.
  • The long running DNA module continues to be refined although we are getting there its now fortnightly Zoom calls rather than weekly on the action list.
  • Virtual Agriscot was on last week where we took a virtual stand, not quite sure what the uptake was on visits, but I guess that will come out soon.
  • I reported a few months ago that I had read a book called the “Sacred Cow” that was very insightful well the film is out more detail and facts in the book but a very good watch for Aberdeen-Angus breeders.
  • Well done again to Amy Johnstone who this week passed another milestone in her course on Digital Marketing we are already seeing the results of her learnings and that they are being put to good use.
  • We received information on the new rules for tagging animals for export. This is up on the website and its very important that anyone exporting follows the tagging guidance as animals that do not comply after Brexit may be slaughtered on arrival at the country of destination.
  • The next period includes committee meetings, culminating in the council meeting all this year on Zoom so a hectic couple of weeks in the preparation and aftermath of those in implementing decisions made.
  • Well done to Angela Cumming and Helena Stewart for producing the draft year end figures in time for the Finance meeting. Auditors are running behind so they won’t be audited but a very good guide as to our performance last year.
  • This is by no means all that comes through Pedigree House on a weekly basis but a summary of the activities we all hope that you keep safe and well within the guide lines of you areas depending on what tier you are in.

News & Notices from Office Manager, Laura Stewart:

The main committee and council meetings have been organised to take place remotely over the next two week period.  As usual, should any member have something that they wish to raise, please contact your local Council member in the first instance.  Contact details can be found on the Society website by clicking here

Members in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should now have received the 2021 IAAA nomination paper.  Completed nomination papers should be sent direct to Kathryn Bradshaw.

The closing date is approaching for the UK nominations to Council for 2021.  Completed nomination papers should be returned to Pedigree House by the closing date of 4th December.

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 registrations team are currently ‘one man’ down, please bear with us as we try to catch up on our backlog of emails, registrations, new member applications, transfer of ownership, zootechnical certificates, DNA sample logging , DNA results etc….

Things might be taking slightly longer to resolve however please be assured we will get to them in due course.  We are having to do a lot of juggling to try to keep on top of things however if you feel something is urgent then just email either Caroline or Fiona and we will try our best to help.

If you have animals entered for the forthcoming Spring sales please ensure you have given us the tag numbers of animals forward so we can ensure all DNA sire verification and MYOSTATIN testing has been actioned.  The DNA lab close over the Christmas and New Year period  which is not ideal, therefore the more time you give us the better.

The new DNA module which was installed during lockdown is now in motion, however as with all things ‘new’ there have been a few teething problems.  Hopefully going forward we will have the entire DNA process running in a more stream lined way, we just need to make a few tweaks here and there.

To our members in Rep of Ireland we have a substantial backlog at the moment.  Our colleague Yvonne Buchannan has resigned her post, Fiona is currently working to clear this backlog, however it is a learning curve therefore we appreciate your patience with this.

News & Notices from Pedigree Cattle Services:

We are up to date with weights at the moment but if you would like your weights to be included in the next ABRI run (9th December) 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 catalogues please send them to either Barbara or Amy.

News & Notices from Ireland:

Nominations to council:

The Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association is seeking nominations for the 2021 council with vacancies open in all four of the geographical constituencies. All members should have received their nomination papers by post but additional copies can be obtained from the Secretary on 071 9632099. Completed nominations papers should be returned to Mrs Kathryn Bradshaw, Secretary, Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association, Main Street, Mohill, Co. Leitrim before noon on Thursday, December 31st 2020.

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

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