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Q: Animal Breed Standards ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Animal Breed Standards
Category: Science > Agriculture and Farming
Asked by: adriangstewart-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 12 Apr 2005 22:45 PDT
Expires: 12 May 2005 22:45 PDT
Question ID: 508650
Many animal breeds particularly dogs and livestock have a published
breed standard. Each standard defines exactly what the attributes are
of that specific breed. Breeders can then make breeding decisions
which work towards the standard. I am looking for any published
research into the use and benefit of breed standards. In particular I
would like research which supports breed standards as being desirable.
I am not interested in the breed standards themselves I want the
scientific justification for their existence.

Request for Question Clarification by politicalguru-ga on 13 Apr 2005 00:54 PDT
Dear Adrian,

I could find a few articles on the subject. However, most of them
claim that breed standards have a *negative* effect in some fields.

Clarification of Question by adriangstewart-ga on 13 Apr 2005 09:45 PDT
Yes its not easy but thats why I decided to use Google Answers :-)

In short what appears to happen is that a group of people get together
and define a particular breed (in terms of its appearance, earshape,
colour, height etc etc) then they form a register and to be on the
register the animal must meet the breed standard as defined. As you
have discovered this can have a dettrimental effect sometimes. So by
breeding horses that can run very quickly we might also breed horses
that have thin bones, making then lighter, but more susceptible to
breaks!  What I am looking for is evidence that introducing a breed
standard has been beneficial to a breed in an overall way.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 13 Apr 2005 11:57 PDT

Like my colleague, I have not found a great deal of information about
the benefits of breed standards, especially benefits related to the
animals themselves, rather than to the breeders that can realize a
financial gain  by adhering to a certain standard.

However, there is one big exception that I've come across.  A
conservationist is championing the creation of an international breed
standard for a rare breed of horse.  Without the standard -- which
would allow biologists to recognize individuals belonging to the breed
-- the breed is in danger of extinction due to dilution of its gene
pool through interbreeding.

The creation of a breed standard is considered essential to the
conservation and survival of the population of horses.

Is this the sort of example that you are seeking?

And if so, would you be comfortable with my posting a link to the
article as an answer to your question?  The reason for my asking this
is that I am not sure I will be able to find any other examples
(though I will certainly try my best!), and I did not want to
disappoint you by posting an answer containing only one source of

Let me know what you think.


Clarification of Question by adriangstewart-ga on 13 Apr 2005 13:14 PDT
Your example sounds interesting....but I am afraid not relevant for my purposes.

However,if you can find links to existing breed standards (livestock
as opposed to domestic pets) that would be a good second best.

Throw in the links to any material about breeders and the financial
rewards associted with sticking to a breed standard and that would be
a worthwhile answer from my perspective..

Does that work for you? Or one of your colleagues?

Subject: Re: Animal Breed Standards
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 14 Apr 2005 19:01 PDT

Hello again.

I've included below a fair number of links to a wide variety of breed
standards, mostly for livestock and other farm-type animals.

I've also included some links and excerpts from sites that discuss the
advantages -- financial or otherwise -- to creating and adhering to
the standard for a given breed.

I trust this information meets your needs and fully answers your
question.  However, please do not rate this answer until you feel you
have everything you need.  If you would like any additional
information, simply post a Request for Clarification to let me know,
and I'm at your service.


A Comparative Analysis Of Alpaca Breed Type And Standards
Animal Husbandry -- How To Select and Show Winners
Highland Cattle Breed Standards
American Dexter Cattle Association 
Breed Standard
Australian Lowline Cattle Breed Standards
Definition of Pure-Bred Limousin Breed Standard
Jersey Island
Breed Standards for Production - Bulls
Breed Standards for Production - Cows
Breed Standards for Production - Herds
The Maremmana breed is a descendent of the bos Taurus Macroceros, a
longhorned cattle
Breed Standards
Texas Longhorn Breed Standards
Australian Red Poll Cattle Breeders Inc.
RED POLL Breed Standard
The Araucana Chicken 
Breed Standards
Breed Standards
Katahdin Sheep
Boer Goat of South Africa 
Breed Standard
Highland Cattle Breed Standards
Tennessee Fainting Goat Breed Standard
British Belgian Blue Cattle 
Breed Standard
Breed Standards of the Boer Goat 
Boer Breeders Association of South Africa

The above were selected to provide a broad cross-section of standards,
varying not only the animals, but the types of standards themseleves
-- from brief, to more etensive, to highly qunatitative.

If you are interested in seeing even more examples of breed standards,
you can review the results of my search on the following terms:

("breed standard" OR "breed standards") (livestock OR farm OR cows OR
chickens OR pigs OR hogs OR cattle) -dog -dogs

Note that you can easily modify the search to add terms of particular
interest, e.g. "goats", if that's an animal you wanted to see more
examples for.


I've also included information on the beneftis attributed to breed
standards.  This information is not as plentiful or as precise as the
standards themselves, and it often means reading over the sites to get
the full flavor of what they have to say.  However, the excerpts I've
included here should at least get you started:


Advantages of Jerseys 
[The page doesn't refer specifically to breed standards, but it's
clear from the context that having the standard preserves and insures
the advantages of the breed]

The standard developed by the National Miniature donkey Association is
sometimes used as a model for a breed standard that articulates the
advantages of each component of the standard:

Miniature Donkey
NMDA Breed Standard

For instance, the section on Appearance reads (in part) as follows:


Overall balance in conformation and adequate bone is necessary for
work, such as carrying packs and pulling carts efficiently.

The Alpaca Breeders Fiber School is another group whose site extols
the benefits of strict adherence to the breed standard:


Benefits of ABFS accreditation 

Earning the ABFS Accredited Alpaca Breeder status will be an enormous
asset to your alpaca business. Breeders who earn this accreditation
bring our industry to a higher level of professionalism. Accredited
breeders will use this distinction in their own business marketing,
designating the level of industry knowledge and expertise they have to
offer clients.

Advertising. Successful candidates will be given use of a specially
designed certification logo for advertising purposes and a certificate
of accreditation.

High Standards. ABFS will promote the accreditation logo as being a
sign of an ethical educated breeder that subscribes to the high
ethical standards of the ABFS and has taken the trouble to educate
themselves and agreed to maintain professional standards.

Official title. Breeders successfully meeting the accreditation
requirements and qualifications shall be entitled to call themselves
ABFS Accredited Breeder.

Accountability. ABFS reserves the right to deny accreditation if the
candidate does not meet the standards set by ABFS for accreditation.
The ABFS Accreditation Board will review any such concerns, giving
ample opportunity for remedy if needed. Should any ABFS Accredited
Breeder be found to be in default of the code of ethics and standards
required the ABFS accreditation program, certification shall be
revoked immediately and the breeder removed from the published
accreditation listing. Such action will be taken to protect and
maintain the status earned by other ABFS Accredited Breeders.

...ABFS accredited breeders shall follow and utilize the International
Alpaca Breed standard for both Huacaya and Suri when selecting and
breeding alpacas.

More on the advantages of the breed standard:


The Irish Gypsy Cob 

The Irish Cob Society was formed in July 1998 in order to protect and
promote this amazing and unique breed. Upon examination of hundreds of
Irish Gypsy Cobs, a breed standard and stud book was approved on the
16th of July 1998 by the Irish Department of Agriculture, the
Competent Authority in the Republic of Ireland, in accordance with
Directive to Member States 90/427/EEC and Decision 92/353/EEC for the
purpose of maintaining The Irish Cob Stud Book as Stud Book of Origin
of the Breed.

This is now the largest and only Government approved registry and
contrary to popular belief, is absolutely dedicated to maintaining a
standard set by the Irish Travellers. This studbook was formed to
protect the breed. Although, there are many mares and stallions owned
by Gypsies who are not yet registered with the Society, more and more
are doing so as they realise the advantages of DNA and registration.
It means that there will no longer be unscrupulous farms maintaining
that they have particular bloodlines. Now the heritage of the Gypsy
Cob can really be protected and maintained.. Each and every one of our
horses was bought by a Judge for their conformation, feathering, step
and kindness, not on a promise or story that they are out of
particular bloodlines.

Irish Charolais
Cattle Breed Society


Coloured--Marked  progeny which  leads  to  easy   identification. 

Docility  and  ease  of  handling. 

Hardy, adaptable  and  prolific  stock. 

Premium  prices  at  all  stages  of  growth. 

Fast  Growth  rate  and  efficient  feed  conversion. 

High  carcass  yields  and  a  high  percentage  of   quality  cuts. 

Ideal  Beef  for  the  high  priced   European   markets. 

Again, just let me know if there's anything else you need here.

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