The Breed Development Working Group will ask the AGM to bring our registration rules into line with those of other rare breed societies. There will be no change for most registrations, but new safeguards for sheep without pedigree data are proposed.
The Society Flock Book is now in a much healthier condition. Members will remember the problems in the past, which led to the registration amnesty and many gaps in the pedigree data of our sheep. The time has come to bring our registration rules into line with those of most other rare breed societies.
The Ouessant Flock Book will remain an open Flock Book. The progeny of registered sheep will continue to be eligible for automatic registration by members, and imports of Ouessants registered with European societies will also continue. But it is proposed to establish an Annex to the flock book to manage the registrations of ewes are not eligible for automatic registration in the main Flock Book.
The AGM will be asked to confirm the exact arrangements for the Annex, and whether transitional arrangements are required to cover its introduction. The draft registration rules, which may be found here, are based on those of the Shetland Sheep Society and establish a three-stage Annex for female sheep only – in the first stage the ewe is inspected against the breed standard; the second and third stages regeister its daughters and granddaughters before its great grandchildren then become eligible for registration in the main Flock Book. In each stage the ewe and its progeny must be put to an approved ram; there is no mechanism for unregistered rams to enter the Annex.
What do you think? Is an Annex to the Flock Book vital to improving the quality of the breed in the UK? Are the rules sufficiently clear, or unnecessarily complicated? Have your say below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The draft registration regulations also cover the new lower age limit on registering ram lambs – they must be at least one year old for full registration, but may be birth notified at any time – and the voluntary Ram Approval Scheme both of which are described in the article “A Little Ram Goes a Long Way” elsewhere in this newsletter.