AMERICAN HIGHLAND CATTLE ASSOCIATION
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Rev. September 9, 2014
I. Registration of PUREBRED BREEDING CATTLE. The following rules shall govern eligibility for registration of purebred Highland animals in the AHCA Herdbook. Owners of an animal to be registered must be members of the American Highland Cattle Association.
A. Definition: Purebred shall mean Highland cattle of genotypic purity. It includes animals meeting the requirements for registration of Section B of this article.
1) All DNA typing must be done by a laboratory designated by AHCA and at a fee set by AHCA.
B. Animals must meet the following requirements to be eligible for entry into the AHCA Herdbook:
1) Animals born in the US which are the progeny of animals registered in the Herdbook.
2) Animals born in the US to a dam registered in the AHCA Herdbook but served naturally or artificially in a foreign country, if proof is provided that the sire is eligible for entry into the AHCA Herdbook.
3) Animals which have been imported into the US and
a. are registered in the Canadian HCS Herdbook or
b. are registered in the UK HCS Herdbook proper with no ancestors registered in a grading-up appendix to the Herdbook proper of the Highland Cattle Society since January 1, 1994. Additionally, the animal and all its ancestors in a five generation pedigree must be properly registered in the herdbook of their country of origin.
4) All bulls being registered must be DNA typed prior to registration.
5) In the case of animals two years of age or older, the breeder must provide satisfactory proof of parentage to AHCA. This proof requires the DNA test of the individual to be registered and its sire and dam.
6) Animals born in the US which are the result of artificial insemination, provided that the AHCA rules for AI are followed and any imported semen meets the requirements for animals as specified in paragraph 3) above and the bull that is the source of the semen is registered in the AHCA Herdbook.
7) Animals produced by the transfer of embryos or fertilized ova from cow to cow, provided that the AHCA rules for embryo transplant are followed and any imported embryos meet the requirements for animals as specified in sections I. B & D.
8) AHCA reserves the right to require parental verification by DNA typing of any animal, regardless of its registration status, if its parentage should be in doubt. Parental verification may require that all possible parents, as well as the animal in dispute, be DNA typed and shall be at the breeder’s expense and at a laboratory and at a fee designated by AHCA.
9) All registered offspring resulting from matings wherein the dam was exposed to more than one (1) sire over eight (8) months of age at the same time, whether by natural or artificial mating; must be DNA typed for sire verification. Sire verification requires that all possible sires, the animal in dispute and potentially the dam, be DNA typed. Parental verification shall be done at the breeder’s expense at a laboratory and at a fee designated by AHCA.
10) Cryptorchid (failure of one or both testicles to fully descend into the scrotum) bulls may not be registered, shown or used as a sire for registered Highland cattle.
11) Cloned animals may not be registered.
12) Postmortem animals may not be registered.
C. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Board of Directors of AHCA may, in its discretion and by exception, authorize the registration of an animal imported into the US from any country if satisfactory proof is made of its purebred status.
D. Registration shall be restricted to cattle with these colors - black, brindle, red, dun, silver, yellow, white and parti-color. Only parti-color females may be registered, no bulls, and these animals must be DNA tested for parentage. Additionally, parti-colored animals may not be shown at AHCA sanctioned shows.
E. AHCA may reject any registration request that uses herd or animal names or markings it deems confusing, over-lengthy or otherwise inappropriate. Markings i.e. tattoos, must be the assigned tattoo of the farm or ranch of birth and the name of the animal should not reflect a farm or ranch name other than the one of birth of the animal.
F. This rule shall have force and effect on the date of its approval by the Board on January 21, 1995.
G. Notwithstanding the rules and procedures listed above, the Board of Directors of AHCA may, in its discretion and by exception, authorize the registration of an animal that could not comply with the AHCA rules and procedures due to extenuating circumstances, if satisfactory proof is made of the extenuating circumstances, and of its pedigree and purebred status.
H. When a bred cow is transferred who has been exposed to multiple bulls at the same time, all potential sires must be DNA typed at the seller’s expense prior to the transfer being processed by AHCA. The resulting calf will need to be parent verified through DNA typing to be registered.
I. All DNA typing must be done by a laboratory designated by AHCA and at a fee set by AHCA.
J. All registered Highland cattle owners are required to follow AHCA’s Updated Policies on Registrations & Transfers. AHCA members and registered Highland cattle owners have a duty to inform AHCA of issues that impact their ownership of registered Highland cattle including divorce (threatened, pending or final), death or changes to corporate entities which hold title. See Updated Policies on Registrations & Transfers.
K. AHCA requires signatures on transfer applications from all non-member owners who are selling or transferring registered Highland cattle (i.e. John and Jane Doe listed as owners so both need to sign since they are non-members).
II. REGISTRATION OF PUREBRED MARKET CATTLE (STEERS AND HEIFERS). The following rules shall govern eligibility for registration of purebred Highland market cattle for the purpose of exhibition.
A. Definition: Purebred market cattle shall mean Highland cattle, either steers or heifers, of genotypic purity. It includes animals meeting the requirements for registration of section B of this article.
B Animals must meet the following requirements to be eligible for registration as market cattle:
Animals born in the US which are progeny of animals registered in the Herdbook.
Steers and market heifers are eligible for registration.
Animals must meet the requirements as specified in sections I. B. 5, 8 & 9.
III. REGISTRATION OF CROSSBRED BREEDING CATTLE. The following rules shall govern eligibility for registration of crossbred Highland animals in the Crossbred Registry. Owners of an animal to be registered must be members of the American Highland Cattle Association.
A. Definition: Crossbred shall mean no less than one parent be registered with AHCA as either purebred or crossbred Highland and whose lineage is no more than 50% and no less than 25% Highland blood. Additionally all animals must meet the requirements as specified in section I. B 4-12, E, G-K.
B Animals must additionally meet the following requirements to be eligible for entry into the Crossbred Registry:
The non-Highland parent must be of Bos Taurus beef breed origin (no dairy, Brahma or Zebu) and the breed type indicated on the registration application (i.e. dam: AHCA registration #, sire: commercial Angus or registered Angus or Shorthorn x Angus).
The animal must have a 205 day weaning weight of at least 450# with the registration application and weight(s) entered online only (no paper application). Additional performance data is encouraged.
Animals must be either polled or properly dehorned and indicated as such on the registration application.
All bulls being registered must be DNA typed prior to registration.
All sires, AI sires and donor dams of other breeds are required to have a DNA type and genetic defect status on file with AHCA.
Registration fees are the same as the AHCA Herdbook.
It is important to note this is not a breeding up program and the Crossbred Registry is entirely separate from the AHCA Herdbook (purebred registry). The registration papers will look different and state the animal is a crossbred.
IV. REGISTRATION OF CROSSBRED MARKET CATTLE (STEERS AND HEIFERS). The following rules shall govern the eligibility for registration of crossbred Highland market cattle for the purpose of exhibition.
Definition: Crossbred market cattle shall mean one parent must be a registered Highland. It includes animals meeting the requirements for registration of section B of this article.
Animals must meet the following requirements to be eligible for registration as market cattle.
Animals with one parent registered in the AHCA Herdbook and the other parent MUST be a beef breed type and the breed type indicated on the application (i.e. dam: AHCA registration #, sire: commercial Angus or registered Angus or Shorthorn x Angus).
Steers and market heifers are eligible.
Animals must meet the requirements as specified in sections I. B 5, 8 & 9.
V. Affiliated Associations. The American Highland Cattle Association encourages the formation of local Highland associations to promote the breed, facilitate marketing in local areas and foster fellowship among Highland breeders. A state or regional group wishing to form a local association and affiliate may do so by obtaining approval of AHCA's Board, paying such fee as the Board shall require and by following these rules:
A. Breeders will be required to hold membership in the American Highland Cattle Association for the purpose of registering cattle.
Eligible persons wishing to join a regional association who are not members of AHCA may do so as an associate member.
An associate (non-voting) membership is intended for informational and fellowship purposes only. It shall not qualify for board representation as stated in Section V C.
B. All registrations and transfers will be handled through the AHCA.
C. A regional association may elect a representative to serve on the AHCA Board of Directors. AHCA encourages continuity in these director positions by suggesting they be elected for a minimum of two years but the term must not exceed six consecutive years. Those nine regional associations with the highest AHCA membership will have voting rights on the Board. Other regional associations may have input in board proceedings but no vote on board actions.
D. Regional associations must comply with all AHCA rules, regulations, by-laws and rulings. In the event of a conflict, the decisions of the AHCA Board shall prevail.
E. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the regional association being terminated by the AHCA Board if it determines that doing so is in the best interest of its membership.
VI. Marking. All animals registered shall first be properly marked, with markings described on the registry application. Each owner shall have an AHCA-approved herd designation of 1, 2 or 3 letters, and these plus the year of birth (number of the year or the letter equivalent assigned by AHCA) and the unique number of the animal shall be tattooed in the ear(s). AHCA recommends this order of placement: herd designation + unique number + year.
Examples: WY14D = animal number 14 born on WY ranch in 1994
FE1494 = animal number 14 born on FE ranch in 1994
AHCA recommends placing the entire tattoo in the left ear.
A. If an animal has a tattoo that has the correct digits but is partially unreadable, that animal must be re-tattooed by the owner (either current or original) in a different lobe of the ear. You must contact AHCA for registration paper correction. If an animal is found to have been tattooed in the wrong ear, AHCA must also be notified for a correction to be made on the registration paper.
B. If an animal has either no tattoo or the incorrect tattoo, then the original owner (owner of the dam at the time she calved) must notify AHCA in writing. At AHCA’s discretion, that animal may be subject to DNA testing if the parentage is in doubt. Once the animal’s pedigree is verified then the animal may be tattooed or re-tattooed and the papers changed to reflect the proper tattoo. The current owner may be the person to do the new tattoo. You must contact AHCA for registration paper correction.
C. In the event the inspection of a tattoo by a person authorized by AHCA reveals that a tattoo is illegible or not in conformity with the registration, the animal shall be barred from exhibition and/or sale and a written report made to the office of AHCA by such representative for action to be taken as described as in A or B above.
A. Admission to and continuation of membership shall be conditioned on prompt payment of dues and other fees owing AHCA. AHCA reserves the right to reject membership applications if the Board determines this to be in the best interest of the Association.
B. Whenever it is brought to the attention of the Board that a member has failed to comply with the articles, by-laws or these rules, or has failed to pay sums due AHCA, or has failed to follow recognized principles of good breeding practice, or has submitted a false application for registration or transfer of animals or has in any way acted in a manner injurious to the AHCA, its members or third persons, the Board may require that member to respond to charges. If the member does so and requests a hearing, the Board shall permit the member to appear at the next board meeting or, alternatively, shall set a hearing before one or more persons appointed by the President. At such meeting or hearing the Board or the hearing member or members may hear and receive such information as they deem relevant. If the Board concludes, after such meeting or after report of such hearing, that the member has acted in such a manner as to justify Board sanctions, the Board may suspend all or some portion of the member's membership privileges or take such other action as it deems proper, including expulsion from membership.
VIII. Artificial Insemination.
A. All bulls which are the source of semen for the purpose of artificial insemination must be DNA typed by a laboratory and at a fee set by the Association. A record of their DNA types must be filed with the Association before calves sired by such bulls shall be eligible for registration.
B. Each straw of semen must be identified and permanently labeled before freezing. Identity must include the registered name and registration number of the bull for the resulting calves to be eligible for registration.
C. Registration of calves produced by artificial insemination: Animals resulting from artificial insemination are eligible for registration in the Herdbook provided that:
1) the dam and, except in the case of artificial insemination where the semen was imported into the U.S. prior to the coming into force of this provision, the sire have been registered in the Herdbook; and,
2) All AI calves must be DNA typed prior to registration.
IX. Embryo Transplant. The following requirements shall apply to registration of calves resulting from embryo transplant:
A. The sire must be DNA typed by a laboratory and at a fee set by AHCA.
B. The embryo transplant donor dam must be DNA typed by a laboratory and at a fee set by AHCA.
C. DNA typing of the recipient dam may be required by the Association if the DNA typing analysis of the calf is inconsistent. If the recipient dam is DNA typed and cannot be excluded as the dam, the determination of eligibility for registration shall be made by the Association after considering DNA typing data as well as other available information.
D. DNA typing of the embryo transplant calf is required by the Association. It must be done by a laboratory designated by AHCA and at a fee set by AHCA.
E. In the case of embryos collected outside the United States, the genetic sire and dam must be eligible for registration in the Herdbook as defined in I. B. 3 above.
F. The owner of record of the donor dam at the time of conception must be identified as the breeder.
G. The owner of record of the donor dam at the time of conception will be identified as the first owner, unless the calf is the result of a purchased embryo or a pregnant recipient in which case the owner of the embryo or pregnant recipient may be identified as the first owner.
H. Registration of embryo transplant offspring shall be made on the regular registration form at the regular registration fee plus an additional fee as determined by the AHCA Board of Directors. Each application must be accompanied by the "AHCA Certification of Breeding and Embryo Transplant" executed by the embryo transplant firm.
I. Calves conceived after the death of a donor cow shall be eligible for registration provided the owner of record of the donor cow notifies the Association in writing of the date of death and the number of embryos in storage. Providing the cow is DNA typed and this rule is followed there is no time limit on the use of the embryos after death.
J. Registration certificates issued to offspring of embryo transplants shall be so designated.
X. Dues. Dues shall be as determined by the Board of Directors for both life and annual members and for such other categories as the Board may determine. Life members may be asked to make a voluntary contribution.
XI. National Shows and Sales. The Board may from time to time designate a National Show and/or Sale. Rules for such shows and sales shall be adopted by the Board. Roll of Excellence (ROE) participants must follow the IAFE National Code of Show Ring Ethics.
XII. Warranties. AHCA makes no warranty whatsoever regarding the accuracy of the data published in its Herdbook. Each person who seeks registration/transfer warrants the accuracy of the information supplied to AHCA relating thereto. AHCA expressly denies that it performs any independent research as to accuracy of information supplied to it.
XIII. Obligations. No person is authorized to incur obligations for AHCA, or extend any sums belonging to AHCA, outside of the budget as adopted by and approved by the Board or unless the Board specifically authorizes such obligation or expenditure. Amounts allocated to items within the budget of a program may, however, be modified by the program chairman for that program, upon obtaining approval from the finance chairman as long as the total program cost is not thereby exceeded.
XIV. MEMBERSHIP. To be a voting member of AHCA a person or entity must comply with the following: own or have previously owned purebred Highland cattle registered with AHCA or be an AHCA life member; current in the payment of annual dues; and for those seeking renewal, remain as a member in good standing.
Membership may be held by individuals or business entities. Individuals may hold ownership individually or with others. Ownership with others may be joint ownership with or without the right of survivorship.
AHCA allows ownership of registered Highland cattle by business entities, such as: partnerships, corporations (C or S type) or limited liability companies. Such entities are required to provide AHCA with minutes and/or officer certificates indicating which individuals are authorized to act on behalf of the entity for purposes of the registration and transfer of cattle or to conduct any other business with AHCA. Sample forms are available online on the registration tab, printable forms.
Only members of AHCA may register Highland cattle. Non-members may own and transfer registered cattle but non-members may not register the offspring of registered cattle without becoming a member of AHCA.
AHCA registers cattle in the same name and form as the individual or entity holds its membership. For instance, a business entity must be a member to register cattle on the books and records of AHCA. In addition, individuals may be members directly in their own name or indirectly through one or more business entities that own cattle. Ownership by multiple entities or individuals may require separate and distinct memberships.
The transfer of ownership of cattle may result in the need for an individual or an entity to apply for a new membership. Parties changing the form of ownership must provide AHCA with documentation concerning which, if any, party shall maintain the current membership and herd letters (required for animal identification). Herd letters can be re-issued with the consent of prior participants in the membership. (For instance, in a divorce the parties should agree which party shall maintain the original membership and herd letters and provide AHCA with proper documentation of that agreement. The other party may establish a new membership with new herd letters.)
Any person(s) or business entity joining or renewing membership in AHCA shall be deemed to agree to dispute resolution in Adams County, Colorado. By becoming a member, said member(s) agrees that any and all disputes by and between members of the Association and the American Highland Cattle Association shall be first submitted to mediation in Adams County, Colorado. In the event good faith efforts to resolve the dispute in mediation fails, the parties may resort to litigation in the State Courts of Colorado, Adams County, Colorado.
The membership directory is intended as a communications tool for our members, prospective owners and Highland enthusiasts and should not be used for personal gain other than the marketing of Highland cattle and products.