USSA Adopts Genetic Recovery Program

USSA Adopts Genetic Recovery Program

The United Suffolk Sheep Association board of directors recently implemented a Genetic Recovery Program after recognizing the need for such efforts nearly four years ago.

At its retreat in the spring of 2015, the board proposed a goal of establishing a Suffolk genetic recovery program under the breed improvement plan. It became apparent to the board that a number of Suffolk breeders had not registered their sheep for many years. These sheep were not eligible for the percentage registration program even though they were of Suffolk origins.

The board decided to explore the ramifications of allowing these breeders to register their sheep by appointing a committee to further investigate the issue, and has now adopted the Genetic Recovery Program following additional research and discussion. The parameters of the program are as follows.

Eligibility for Suffolk GAP registrations

1. Must be a member in good standing of the USSA or UJSSA

2. Certify to the best of your knowledge that the sheep being considered for GAP are of Suffolk descent by signing the application for registration.

3. Offspring of these ewes are only eligible for registration if sired by a registered (fullblood) Suffolk ram.

Instructions for GAP Registrations

• Own one or more blackface ewes with Suffolk phenotype.

• Papers have not been maintained on these ewes for generations.

• Records have been maintained on the ewes and you are confident that they are Suffolk in their genetic makeup.

• Fill out a background questionnaire on the sheep being proposed for registration.

• An inspection – either physically or photographically – will validate their phenotype and determine their eligibility for registration.

o Physical inspection will be by a USSA director or board designee

o Two photos per ewe will be required

• One picture of the animals head (front view)

• One picture of the animal’s profile (side view)

• Photos should be of reasonable quality and clear

• Once the ewes have been approved for registration, complete an application for Suffolk GAP registration. If you are interested, contact the U.S.S.A office.

The program is for 2 years only and will be terminated Dec. 31, 2020.