Structural Accreditation Course

AngusNZ recently played a pivotal role in orchestrating an industry-wide Structural Accreditation Course, hosted on March 18-19 at Hallmark Angus.

Currently, New Zealand only boasts one accredited structural assessor, Bill Austin. The primary objective of the course was to broaden nationwide accessibility to a greater number of accredited structural assessors. This initiative is imperative, as solely structurally accredited data from an approved ABRI assessor will be permissible for submission into Breedplan.

The event drew attendance from 11 beef industry advocates, who underwent instruction and evaluation for accreditation in the structural assessment of cattle, focusing on:

• front claw set
• front foot angle
• rear leg hind view; and
• rear leg side view.

Additionally, rear foot angle will also be incorporated into the structural assessment process.

The course’s goal extends beyond merely applying scientific principles to enhance a key strength within the New Zealand Angus breed. It aims to eventually cultivate an industry-standard structurally assessed Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) phenotype, emphasizing leg, hoof, and foot claw conformation.

Presenters for the day included Alex McDonald, an ABRI structural assessor, and Bill Austin. McDonald previously served as the National Field Coordinator during the initial development of BREEDPLAN. He also spearheaded the introduction of scanning technology in Australia to generate EBVs for carcass traits.

Results regarding the successful accreditation status of the attendees will be announced in approximately six weeks.

We would like to extend our thanks to Max and Lucy Tweedie from Hallmark Angus for hosting and facilitating the event.