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Breeding Programme

The approved breeding programme for British White cattle in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is run by the British White Cattle Society, as officially recognised by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Aims

To encourage the breeding of British White cattle to Society standards, to record pedigrees and issue zootechnical certificates for registered animals, to maintain and promote the existing characteristics of the breed, to encourage breed improvement, and to monitor and maintain its genetic preservation and diversity.

Breed Standard

Breeders of British White cattle should consult the BWCS Breed Standard when selecting animals for breeding. A copy of this can be found on the 'Breed Standard' page of the BWCS website, and in the BWCS Herd Book.

Recording Pedigree Information

Eligible animals are accepted onto either the Pedigree Register or the Grading Up Register of the British White Cattle Society Herd Book, based on the criteria laid out in the Rules of the Society

The Society records and stores all animal information using a database facility provided by Grassroots Systems Ltd. 

Characteristics and Breed Improvement

The Society assesses all bulls intended for full registration using the BWCS Bull Inspections Scheme. The criteria for this assessment are explained in the BWCS Bull Inspections Guide

Breeders are also encouraged to submit animals for assessment under the NBDC Type Classification Scheme

Data collected from both the BWCS Bull Inspections Scheme and the NBDC Type Classification Scheme, as well as any other performance data submitted by breeders (e.g. birth weights, birthing ease, live weights, carcase information) are used to monitor breed development, as well as to promote the characteristics of British White cattle. 

Genetic Preservation and Diversity

The Society works with individuals and organisations to monitor the collection and storage of genetic material, to preserve bloodlines representative of many decades, and to safeguard the breed's unique characteristics for the future. 

To aid in breeding decisions, breeders may request kinship reports used to help avoid excessive inbreeding. Kinship scores of individual matings are quantified alongside the average Inbreeding Coefficient (IBC) of the entire breed population, which is calculated annually. 

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