The Canadian Sheep Breeders Association Recognizes the Bluefaced Leicester For Registry in Canada
Written by Jody McLean
On June 8th 2011 the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association (CSBA) voted to recognize the Bluefaced Leicester and allow certain animals to be registered in Canada. This was the culmination of a lot of work for the few BFL breeders in Canada that felt this would be a step forward in getting the attention of Canadian sheep breeders.
In 2009 we asked CSBA to register our Canadian born lambs from ewes and rams that were registered with BLUNA. In order for them to do this, they had to first look at the US registration and vote to accept it or not. They decided not to; it was thought, because the first BFLs that were imported from Canada to the US were not registered, there was no way to prove their purebred status. Therefore CSBA could not accept the registry.
In the meantime CSBA did vote to accept the UK BFL registry and their breed standard. We thought why not ask the UK to register our ewes and rams. We can then go back to CSBA and ask again for the registry based on their acceptance of the UK registration.
Early in 2010 we approached Matt Drummond, who I’m sure you are all acquainted with. For those of you that are not, he is the owner of Cassington Farm and also sits on the board of directors of the BFL Sheep Breeders Association of Great Britain. We asked him to intercede for us in applying to register our animals in the UK. He brought our request to the next board meeting. It was voted on and accepted. We emailed our BLUNA pedigrees to the UK. They looked at them closely and voted to accept them. We were then issued certificates by email for our UK registrations.
This spring (2011) we approached CSBA and asked again to register our BFLs on the basis of our UK registrations. They were more than a little surprised that we would ask again and it was thought that more work would have to be done on this to ensure it was on the “up and up.” Stacey White, secretary for CSBA emailed Matt Drummond several times with many questions about their process in accepting our registrations. Matt Drummond’s answers were the only reason that in June at the next board meeting, it was decided that the CSBA could now accept our registrations.
It’s interesting to note that we can only register BFLs that are registered in the UK, but CSBA requires an extended pedigree (at least 5 generations.) The UK only provides 3. In order to get the 5 generations, we use the BLUNA certificates. So, in a round about way, they are accepting the BLUNA registrations with the exception of coloured animals. Because the UK doesn’t accept colour, neither will CSBA. All coloured BFLs will remain registered in the US and because of the colour issue we will continue to register all our lambs with BLUNA. Once we have a base of Canadian registered animals built, it will no longer be necessary to register them in the UK. At that point we will have a dual registry, US and Canadian.
We were asked by Stacey White (CSBA) to put together a Breed Description and a Breed Standard for the Canadian BFL. We mainly used a combination of the BLU breed standard and the UK’s with some small revisions. You can see this on the CSBA webpage at http://www.sheepbreeders.ca/breed_profiles/Bluefaced_Leicester.html
With the importation of 3 excellent rams from the UK and the Canadian registry accepted, we are well on the way to re-establishing the BFL in Canada. As sheep breeders, we have exciting times ahead. Many thanks to all that contributed.