Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 5th June 2020

Bi-Weekly Update – Friday 5th June 2020


With summer fast approaching, we can look forward to what is expected to be a very warm and dry summer in the UK. With the current restrictions still on going the staff from the office are all still currently working from home, the staff continue as a team to deliver to the best of their ability to the membership.

We all hope that you and your families are keeping safe and we hope that some sort of normality can return to our activities before too long!

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

Days to Calving:

Now that the breeding season is upon us and bulls have recently gone out/going out, 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

Stirling May Bull Sale:

Retties Lazy River U026 (ET) Tops Stirling May Bull Sale at 9000gns

Average – 29 Aberdeen-Angus £4842.67 +£36.67

Due to the lockdown and restrictions in place with the Covid-19 pandemic, United Auctions’ Stirling Bull Sales in May were conducted via direct marketing instead of a live sale at Stirling Agricultural Centre.
To date, Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers have sold 121 bulls at the May Stirling Bull Sales, which is supported by Galbraith, Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy.

An online catalogue was produced which included all the relevant sire information and EBVs with the addition of a photograph and description of each bull. The trusted sales team at United Auctions – including Raymond Kennedy, John Roberts, David Brown, Ross Fotheringham, Murray Rainnie and Andrew Weir – spoke directly with prospective buyers to convey the value of each bull by describing their style, locomotion and definition and to ensure they met their particular requirements.

Raymond Kennedy, Auctioneer and Sales Executive at United Auctions, said: “There has been a tremendous entry of bulls available in both numbers and quality at the May Bull Sale. While it has been unfortunate for all involved not to have the usual sales platform, vendors and buyers have adapted quickly and all those involved are confident that the right customers have found the right bulls to best suit their individual needs. “The online catalogue continues to be regularly updated and there is still an excellent selection of bulls available for sale to suit all needs and budgets. For any enquiries do not hesitate to contact our sales team.”

Leading the catalogued entry was the outstanding Aberdeen-Angus bull Retties Lazy River U026 (ET) from Richard & Carol Rettie, selling for 9000gns to join Karl Scott’s Foggie pedigree herd at his base at South Brownhill, Turriff. This bull was a son of the renowned Rawburn Elysium and out of Wall Lady Ruth E397, making him a full brother to Retties Lady Ruth N228 who was breed champion RHS 2016.

Following on in the Aberdeen-Angus catalogue at 7200gns was McCornick Panther U464 from Martin McCornick, Boreland, Newton Stewart. This son of the homebred herd sire McCornick Evade sold to DA Blair & Son, Little Inch, Wormit.

Another from the Retties’ team, Retties Duke U024 (ET) sold for 7000gns. This son of Blelack Duke J262 sold to join the Tulloes herd of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus owned by David S Raeburn, Burnside of Tulloes, Forfar.

To read the full report and see prices and pictures please click here

John Gilmour – Belhaven Aberdeen-Angus no.5328
John Gilmour Master Butcher and Businessman – Obituary

Wanted Stockman’s Position – John Hughes:
I have 30 plus years’ experience as a dedicated, honest and extremely hard-working stockman/working herd manager.
I have produced multiple five figure sum pedigree bulls. Topped the market with breeding females, cast cows and store cattle.
Produced multiple champions and interbreed champions at county shows and Perth/Stirling bull sales.
I work well independently and as part of a team.
I am a very confident AI technician with a very high conception rate.
It goes without saying I give 100 percent in animal husbandry and the stock in my care, those of you that know me will know that, those of you that don’t I can supply references including from vets I have worked alongside.
I am available to start a new position with either pedigree or commercial herd immediately
For any other questions or information please pm me on Facebook or phone 07502452866.

The views and opinions expressed in this advert are those of the authors and not the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society

Exploring Views and Experiences of Animal Health and Disease:

We have received an email from a first year PhD student at the Royal Veterinary College who is currently conducting a study looking at the views and experiences of vets and farmers regarding animal health and disease. There is one group of farmers they are keen to study, and it is those who have pedigree herds, and knowing of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society they are very keen to speak to Aberdeen-Angus breeders.

They are looking for farmers who would be willing to take part in a short interview (approximately 1 hour) to discuss this topic. Considering the current situation they have been performing their interviews over the phone/skype.

Below is an information sheet for the project where it gives a bit more information about the aims of the study –
Farmer Information Sheet

If you are interested in getting involved and to take part in a short interview, please contact Mary –
Mary-Ellen Tivey (PhD student, Royal Veterinary College)
Email: [email protected]

Aberdeen-Angus Champion of The Decade – SHADWELL BLACK BROUGHTON K485:

Back in April The Scottish Farmer published the Aberdeen-Angus Champions of The Decade giving readers the chance to vote for their chosen Champion from the last 10 years.

The votes are counted and the three Champions with the most votes were put forward to the Society’s selected judge Alasdair Houston, Gretnahouse.

Alasdair chose the 2015 Champion – SHADWELL BLACK BROUGHTON K485 from Messers F J Fraser & Son, Idvies.

Click here to read our judge Alasdair Houston’s, Gretnahouse comments on his Champion and find out about SHADWELL BLACK BROUGHTON K485 exciting show career and how he bred for the Idvies Herd.

(After each breeds has been judged, each Champion will then move on to the inter-breeds where, again, specially chosen judges will make the difficult choice of picking an overall winner of the beef, dairy, sheep and heavy horse sections.)

Thank you to The Scottish Farmer for organising a great competition which was enjoyed by many.

Free advertising on FG Buy & Sell:

Farmers Guardian’s newest marketplace is the perfect place to advertise stock to a dedicated audience. In these times of uncertainty, the Farmers Guardian understand how important it is for trade to continue. You can now pre-list your lots from the society sales FREE OF CHARGE on

Search from over 1500 weekly listings, from breeding cattle, used machinery and property.
Here’s 5 great reasons to use

1. It’s straightforward to post something on FGBuyandSell. With only a few clicks, your items can be online and ready for buyers to find!
2. We’re LAA approved, that means when you buy from an auctioneer through FGBuyandSell you’re protected by the LAA’s conditions of sale.
3. Our packages make it even easier to reach a wide audience. Choose from Online Only, Basic Package and Standard Packages.
• Online Only – Free 30-day online listing with up to 100 words and 2 pictures
• Basic Listing – This package allows you to reach an even wider audience by appearing in a 3×1 box in Farmers Guardian printed magazine for 7 days and 30-days online.
• Standard Listing – Maximise the reach of your advert by appearing in a 3×2 box in Farmers Guardian printed magazine for 7 days and 30-days online.
4. Video Classifieds – Want to show the buyer a more in-depth look at the item you’re selling? Add a Youtube video to your ad.
5. As a member of The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, we’re giving you £5 off your next paid for advert on Simply add LAUNCH5 at checkout to claim your discount.

If you need any further information or help getting your first advert uploaded please get in touch with Katie Robinson at Farmers Guardian on 01772 799500.


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).

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:

• At the time of writing there were reports of the sunniest and driest spring on record and heading into June the weather has broken which will be a welcome relief for many.
• As reported online it would seem that Aberdeen-Angus still survive on a beige carpet of grass and cope well in situations where food is at a premium.
• This is one of the many marketing factors we are working on with our team at Pinstone going forward, building a picture that will be hard to beat when all the pieces come together.
• All the staff are still managing well to work remotely, and we have adopted Zoom for a weekly meeting and catch up, which is more than we manage to do in the office!
• “Zoom is proving a Boom” for us now and the realisation of what can be achieved via this medium is fantastic, the world becomes a smaller place!
• Regular dialogue with ABRI in Australia, Weatherby’s and Identigen to keep the required changes to implement councils’ decisions continue and are all falling into place.
• The registration system for member use has come into question over the last few months and a new platform is available with a lot of enhancements to it in terms of registration input for the membership. We are engaged in assessing the new software and hopefully delivering the upgrade in the next month or two.
• The two sale reports are online now this week from the outcomes of the Timed Auction at H&H and the farm to farm sale that UA adopted both systems have their merits but the general consensus is that it cant replace the traditional sale.
• We have communicated the first change of our DNA programme and following the technical Zoom meeting I am hoping that I can publish the full story.
• The publication of the change led to a few comments on Social media several questions being asked which hopefully will be answered as we go through the rest of the rationale behind the changes that we are making.
• We have had a major glitch in the internet provision at Pedigree house this week which has affected the remote working. Access to the system for us has not been possible for a period but we are working on fixing that and creating a solution that will prevent further interruptions to the service.
• We have had some requests for Zootechnical certificates for Semen and Embryos that are to be exported to the EU. Like breeding stock and the change to the pedigree certificate Semen and Embryos come under the same legislation. If exporting to the EU shipments must be accompanied by these certificates, please contact registrations dept PRIOR to shipment for more details.
• Any cattle being exported to the EU also need to be accompanied by the correct Zootechnical certificate and this needs to travel with the animal for inspection at point of entry of the country of destination. The new pedigree certificates form that compliance so please contact the society registrations team and they will re print pedigrees in the new format to go with your shipments and prevent any hold ups in transit.
• A number of export enquiries have been received but on further investigation the UK is not currently approved on health grounds for the regions concerned, however the ROI is and these will be passed on for further investigation.
• We are receiving offers from various sources that are wishing to hold digital or virtual shows. In consultation with Breed Promotions committee it is the consensus that to invest in these formats this year is possibly not the best use of funds.
• A successful HR Committee meeting was held last week and the actions from that meeting will be implemented, many thanks to all concerned.
• The remapping of tasks within the team at Pedigree House takes another step forward in a bid to streamline our working practices and make efficiencies in what we do and how we do it with a view of improving our services to the membership.
• Angela Cumming is working her way through the backlog in the accounts and working her way through the challenges of that and is making great headway in getting everything squared up for us again.
• We have been working through some supply chains with Harrods of London who are now after a period of closure selling Certified Aberdeen-Angus Beef over the counter. Interesting discussions on the whys and wherefores of them taking that route but we are please to welcome them and their suppliers to the CAAB scheme.
• Our marketing plans are coming together with Pinstone and the Social Media and website was the first to be reviewed and in conjunction with Amy Johnstone and some new software investment we hope that you will start to see a different approach to that.
• We are also moving forward with the other three prongs of marketplace penetration targeting specific areas of interest to lift our profile from farm to fork and ensure that we are connecting at every level.
• I have had a number of calls from members about late fees applied to their account, can I just remind everyone that late fees are not new, it is the system of applying them which has been automated and they do apply so please take every opportunity to avoid having them to be invoiced by timely attention to the registration process.
• We have arranged our first of the Committee meetings to be held on a “virtual” basis with the technical committee on the 10th of June as a test to see how this medium will work.
• This will be followed by some further Zoom meetings of the other Committees as an adaption to our working practices around the restrictions that have in place now that should reap rewards if adopted going forward.
• This is a summary of some but by no means all of the business that has come across my desk in the last period
• Please stay safe and well and although the enforced period of “Self-Isolation” which is normal on farms at this time of year lambing, calving, spring land work etc follow the regional guidelines in force owing to COVID-19.

News & Notices from The Registrations Department: 

We are still working very hard from home. We have a small backlog of registrations – as we always do at this time of year but we are catching up.

Invoices are emailed so please check your email and your junk folders for these.

Please remember to send your DNA tissue samples to the office now – please just put the samples in the envelope. We don’t need any other paperwork. The samples are being forwarded straight to the lab so we won’t find any registration forms etc if you include them.

Going forward there will be a fee of £25 + VAT for all Zootechnical Certificates produced for the export of semen or embryos. Please make sure you request these in plenty time.

News & Notices from The Pedigree Cattle Services Department:

  • Now that the breeding season is upon us and bulls have recently gone out/going out, 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:


The Midland and Western Livestock Improvement Society Ltd are holding an online sale of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus bulls at The Showgrounds, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim on Saturday, June 6th. All bulls will be stalled on site before 10am with prospective buyers allowed to view the bulls in the flesh (in limited numbers and strictly by appointment only) from 10am – 12.15pm on the day of sale. The sale itself will be conducted online and all interested parties should contact the mart directly via email at [email protected] for full details on how to register and the full catalogue for the sale can be accessed here


Several breeders have pedigree Aberdeen-Angus bulls for sale privately and potential customers are encouraged to make contact with 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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