The Gloucester Cattle Society launched a Type Classification Scheme (TCS) in 2015, to try and accelerate breed progress within herds and in turn improve the overall population of Gloucester cattle. The TCS is a voluntary scheme open to all members to have, at a fee, their cattle inspected by an independent professional classifier who will assign each animal assessed with a score out of 100. The final score, together with the ranking, either Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good or Excellent, will be automatically appended to the end of the animal’s name and made visible in the herd book and eventually on pedigree certificates.
The 4 main categories assessed by the classifiers are Body Conformation, Breed Character, Udder and Legs and Feet. The overall final score depends on the composited scores assigned to each category. If an animal is weak in 1 or more categories, the overall final score will be lower accordingly. The score given to each category is calculated from the functional and linear traits associated with that category. The scores of each linear trait are typed into a hand-held computer and a software programme then calculates the final overall score, assigning the correct weighting of points to each category.
At the start we had to get a bench mark for the Gloucester. One of the larger herds was used as a trial from this the society gained valuable data and information. With the help of the assessors there was some tweaking so that the model would fit the Gloucester breed.
The society has held several workshops on classification and the benefits it can have in helping to improve the breed for the future.
There has currently been a slow response to getting herds classified, but those that have, have been pleasantly surprised by the results .
The council urges all members to consider getting their herds classified.
If you are interested and would like further information, please contact the secretary.