The Irish Aberdeen Angus Association (IAAA) has established a new herd book for the Republic of Ireland in line with EU regulations.
While Irish members of the association would have normally registered animals with the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society in Scotland, the UK's split from the EU since 1 January meant the association had to have a new EU herd book in which to register animals in.
In order to do this, a company needed to be formed, which will be owned by the members.
The registered office of the IAAA Herd Book Company Ltd by Guarantee will remain the Mohill office, while the breed secretary and point of contact remains unchanged as Katryn Bradshaw.
In a letter sent to members by IAAA interim CEO Barrie Turner, he said: “The Irish Aberdeen Angus Association is now, to all intents and purposes, a stand-alone company, charging membership, registration fees, transfer fees and everything to do with the association independently of Scotland, with its own governance and council, making its own decisions and accountable for its own finances.”
This will mean that the IAAA herd book will be looking at in the region of 5,000 registrations
Along with the 530 members of the association in Ireland, the herd book will now also be used to register the other EU members across a further 10 countries who cannot register in the UK following Brexit.
This will mean that the IAAA herd book will be looking at in the region of 5,000 registrations in 2021.
This number is excluding Northern Ireland-bred stock, which will continue to be registered with the Scottish society, as any animals registered in the EU have to be resident in an EU member state.
However, they can, owing to the status of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society as an approved breeding organisation in a third country outside the EU, be imported so long as they comply with the breeding programme.
Differences in breeding programme
When asked whether the association looked to join the already established Irish Angus Cattle Society herd book, Turner added: “This was a consideration in the early days where the problem became apparent that the members would have to register in the EU and not the UK.
"However, we established that there were differences in the breeding programme and rules of procedure between the Irish Angus Cattle Society and the IAAA.
"There was also a wish from the membership of the IAAA to maintain their long-standing (1894) relationship with the Scottish herd book and the origin of the breed. It was therefore deemed appropriate to apply as a separate entity.”
While the affiliation with the Scottish society will remain and may fund the early stages of the company set-up, the ultimate aim is that the IAAA will be financially viable and be an organisation in its own right, making its own decisions and handling its own finances.
The letter also detailed plans to streamline the registration, allowing the automation of registrations between the Department of Agriculture and the ICBF and the Irish Aberdeen Angus Association, as well as direct debit payments.
However, it will remain business as usual for the association in the coming months, with no major changes taking place just yet.
As the herd book was only established on 30 December, it will take time to get the infrastructure in order, but the association is optimistic that the automatic registration will be rolled out by March.
The pedigree certs will intrinsically remain the same, but generated on an IAAA-specific pedigree certificate through the information that is held on the Taurus system managed by the ICBF.