The Breed Standard Working Group (DC, James Graham and Andy Chitty) reported to the AGM.
Earlier this year the Committee had corrected the error over heights that had crept into the breed standard. The AGM confirmed that the correct maximum heights for adult sheep are Rams 49 cm and Ewes 46 cm.
It was agreed that the Society would continue to operate an open flock book, allowing the import of sheep from European Societies and elsewhere, subject to the sheep meeting the UK breed standard. The aim is to allow the import of quality Ouessants into the UK flock, and where inspections are necessary they will be carried out to a much higher standard than was the case during the amnesty.
After much discussion, the AGM decided not to accept the recommendation of the Working Group on wattles. The AGM noted the Working Group’s view that, for a variety of reasons, wattles are not a desirable characteristic but decided to leave the breed standard unchanged. Wattles, therefore, remain acceptable in the breed standard. It was felt that it should be left to individual members to choose to select for or against wattles, as they do for all other characteristics of the breed. Although the breed standard will be unchanged, new notes will be produced for the guidance of breeders and judges.
After further discussion, it was agreed that the time was not yet ripe for the introduction of confirmation inspections of adult sheep, as practised on the continent, but that the recording of adult height and other features should be considered. A programme of education as to what constitutes a ‘good’ Ouessant was judged important. We will be investigating organising a workshop for members and the options for sponsoring a Ouessant class at one or more shows. It was noted that a future AGM could be linked to a workshop and/or show.