The break between SA Stud Book and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) is final and Stud Book will from now on conduct its own production recording.
This announcement follows a prolonged dispute between SA Stud Book and the ARC regarding the Intergis animal recording system. A deadlock was reached after 21 months of discussions and a formal mediation process.
The ARC confirmed its decision to move the Intergis system from the premises of SA Stud Book where it has been operated since its inception in 2000. SA Stud Book opposed this unilateral decision on grounds of a joint venture agreement between the parties, according to Dr Pierre van Rooyen, chief executive of SA Stud Book.
Van Rooyen declined to speculate on the reasons why the ARC is not recognising the agreement any more. In a final response to the issue, SA Stud Book informed the ARC on 10 October 2011, that it (the ARC), repudiated the agreement.
Stud Book consequently accepted its repudiation and cancelled the agreement with immediate effect. “The majority of our members and participants in the existing animal improvement schemes consequently indicated that we had to proceed with our own production recording system,” Van Rooyen explained.
“The majority stakeholders in the livestock industry support our proposed system,” said Dr Japie van der Westhuizen, manager of the Stud Book production recording division.
“The recording system will be based in Bloemfontein with its genetic evaluating section at the University of Pretoria. We will support post-graduate students from the university with training in animal breeding and the university will provide research support.”
Carl Nel, president of SA Stud Book and Drakensberger stud breeder, said there is no other production recording system in the world comparable to the envisaged stud book system. “SA Stud Book services 64 breeders societies, including cattle, pigs, small-stock, horses and dogs. We will do the production recording for beef and dairy cattle, pigs and small-stock.
“The fact that we are starting our own system has cut out a great deal of duplication and we can therefore offer a cost-efficient service.” Duncan Serapelwane, an executive member of Stud Book and Bonsmara stud breeder, said the break between the two parties is very unfortunate, but it had to be done for the sake of the South African stud industry.
“It seems that the problems raised by the ARC are politically and administratively motivated. If the Intergis system is taken away from SA Stud Book where it has been running successfully for many years, what would we be left with? I am very proud of the new Stud Book production recording system.”
At the time of going to print, Farmer’s Weekly’s attempts to get hold of the ARC were unsuccessful. – Annelie Coleman