A new EU herdbook forAberdeen-Angus breeders in Ireland and Europe has been established, allowing members of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society outwith the mainland, to register and import or export cattle.

As one of the UK's most popular breeds to be exported, up to 2000 pedigree heifers are regularly exported to the continent through various outlets every year. There is also a large trade in semen and embryos, which without approval as a society in a third country could have been lost, if steps had not been taken to address the situation.

Following the UK's split from the EU on January 1, 2021, under EU zootechnical rules, no animal that is not resident in an EU member state can be registered in a herd book outside the EU.

For the Aberdeen-Angus breed, this meant that many of the members in the EU could no longer register with the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society which is based in Perthshire.

Hence a licence in Ireland to be recognised by the competent authority as a breed society and run as a herd book had to be granted, and was attained just a day before the January 1, 2021, deadline.

The society is also now on the approved list by the EU and third countries for future trade of Aberdeen Angus cattle between the EU and the UK.

"We currently have around 530 members in the ROI who have previously been able to register with the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, based in Scotland," the breed's CEO Barrie Turner told The SF.

"We also have EU members across a further 10 countries who now cannot register in the in the UK following Brexit from EU member states, but we would hope that by the end of this year, we will be looking at somewhere in the region of 5000 registrations in the Irish Aberdeen Angus Association herd book."

Breeders in Northern Ireland will still be registering in the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society herd book as NI is still part of the UK and as such may after the extra transition period become a third country in the eyes of the EU.

Animals can also be imported from NI provided that a Zootechnical Certificate can be issued by the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society as an approved breeding book in a third country and they comply with the Zootechnical regulations in the EU.

The Certs will intrinsically remain the same but generated on an Irish Aberdeen Angus Association specific pedigree certificate through the information that is held on the Taurus system managed by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation.