With the international transfer of Angus genetics increasing world wide, Angus Societies/Associations are becoming dependant on their fellow World Angus Secretariat members for accurate registration information, as they are the recognised authority on the purity of the Angus genetics in the exporting country. Such reliance suggests that Societies/Associations need agreed protocols for the maintenance of pedigree records and the exchange of Angus genetics world wide.

The World Angus Secretariat was established in 1969 to facilitate the sharing of information between the various Angus Societies/Associations of the world. That Meeting clearly agreed that the World Angus Secretariat could only recommend actions to their respective Angus Society/Association governing bodies. Since its establishment the World Angus Secretariat has discussed a wide range of subjects and has agreed on a considerable number of recommendations for its constituent members. The World Angus Secretariat Code of Practice confirms the agreements reached on organisational focus, meeting arrangements for sharing information, protocols for maintenance of genetic purity and exchange of genetic information, the international promotion of the Angus breed and international youth exchange programs.

Although there have been many areas of discussion, only the resolutions which have gained general agreement have been included in this Code of Practice with the year of the meeting shown in brackets where there was a definite resolution to that effect.

Code of Practice



To assist in the sharing of Angus information internationally between Angus Societies/Associations.


1) Provide a Forum at which World Angus Secretariat members may share information on matters affecting the Angus breed nationally and internationally. (1985)

2) Maintain the purity of Angus seedstock genetics world wide.

3) Establish protocols for the exchange of Angus genetic information between World Angus Secretariat members.


The World Angus Secretariat makes recommendations but does not set policy for member Societies/Associations. (1985)


Voting membership shall be extended to all Angus Associations, even those with open herdbooks.

World Angus Secretariat members have full voting rights at all Secretariat meetings and
further, that other associations or corporations established for the breeding of Angus or Angus crossed-cattle shall be entitled to attend meetings and participate in discussions but shall not be allowed to vote.

World Angus Secretariat members have full voting rights at all Secretariat meetings and
further, that other associations or corporations established for the breeding of Angus or Angus crossed-cattle shall be entitled to attend meetings and participate in discussions but shall not be allowed to vote.


2.1 The American Angus Association maintains a permanent Secretariat for the World Angus Secretariat. (1969)

2.2 The World Angus Secretariat meets every four years with the host country determined at the conclusion of each World Angus Secretariat Meeting. (1969)

2.3 The World Angus Technical Committee meets biannually between the World Angus Secretariat Meetings for the purpose of sharing and advancing breed and technical matters. The location of that Meeting is determined at the conclusion of the World Angus Secretariat Meeting. The Meeting is attended by senior representatives and technical people and possibly the President of the respective Societies/Associations. (1993)

2.4 The President and Secretary of the World Angus Secretariat are provided by the Society/Association which will host the next Meeting of the World Angus Secretariat or Technical Committee. (1985) The Secretarial service includes all meeting arrangements, agenda preparation, minute taking and dissemination.

2.5 Standing orders for the conduct of meetings are: (1969)

  • a) The ruling of the Chairman shall be final in all matters of order and practice.
  • b) The meeting may adjourn and regulate its proceedings as it thinks fit.
  • c) Each Society/Association represented at the Forum shall have not more than three (3) Delegates but any number of observers who have been nominated.
  • d) Irrespective of the above, each Society/Association shall have the right of one vote only, should any vote be necessary.
  • e) Any decisions reached by the meeting shall be in the form of recommendations only to be referred back to the respective governing bodies represented.
  • f) A Delegate, when addressing the meeting, is requested in each instance to preface his/ her remarks by giving his/her name and Society/Association represented.
  • g) Only information is forwarded to the World Angus Secretariat that has been approved by the governing body of the Society concerned and forwarded by its Secretary.
  • h) The President of the host Society/Association is the Chairman of the meeting.
  • i) The Executive Officer of the host Society/Association acts as Secretary of the Meeting. (1985)

2.6 Members send copies of relevant information (e.g. annual journal and other publications) to the Secretariat for distribution to members. (1975)


3.1 Each World Angus Secretariat member maintains a Herd/Pedigree Book in which all registered animals are derived from animals already registered in the Herd/Pedigree Book of that member or the Herd/Pedigree Book of another World Angus Secretariat member organisation or from cattle, which have been breed up from sources outside the Herd/ Pedigree Book (1997).
Code of Practice 3.1 requires updating/revising in line with current practice. (2013)

3.2 The Herd/Pedigree Books are to identify cattle which have been bred up from sources outside the Herd/Pedigree Books. (1997)

3.3 No animal is permitted into the Herd/Pedigree Book if it has white skin above the underline, or on or in front of the navel scar (for females), or in front of the pizzle (for bulls) or on a leg or foot provided that an animal is ineligible for entry by reason only of the fact that it has a birthmark or has white hair provided the skin underneath is black. White markings are permissible on females on the underline only behind the navel, and on males limited to that part of the under-line behind the pizzle and the extreme part of the scrotum. (1989)

3.4 All members to contact laboratories providing Blood/DNA typing services in their respective countries and recommend that they participate in the ISAG international comparison tests. Members to emphasise to these laboratories the desirability of eventually adopting a suitable international panel for DNA typing. (1999)


4.1 The Herd / Pedigree Book of each member is recognised by the other members within the limits of each member’s rules. (1983)

4.2 Each Herd/Pedigree Book registered animal has recorded at least a three generation pedigree demonstrating their lineage to other Herd/Pedigree Book registered animals. (1993)

4.3 For the export of live animals or semen, a blood type certificate is provided for the exported animal as well as blood type certificates verifying parentage where possible. If parentage blood typing is not possible, the Society/Association with which the animal is registered supplies a certificate of explanation. (1985)

4.4 All members provide the Secretariat with a description of their requirements for entry of cattle into their Herd/Pedigree Book for dissemination to members.

4.5 Each Society/Association is aware of the Mannosidosis problem. When cattle are imported from any country where this disease might be of risk, breeders must ensure that the Mannosidosis test is done before importing the cattle. (1995)

4.6 Mannosidosis identification and control (1997):

  1. The DNA Mannosidosis Mutation Test is the standard for detecting the Alpha-mannosidosis genotype.
  2. All members to maintain records of the Alpha-mannosidosis status of individual animals recorded in their respective Herd Books.
  3. On request, documentation of the Alpha-mannosidosis status of individual animals is to be shared between member countries to facilitate the maintenance of Alpha-mannosidosis quality assurance programs.
  4. All member countries to examine the feasibility of requiring mandatory testing of all AI sires for the Alpha-mannosidosis genotype.

4.7 Each Society/Association is to encourage performance recording of Angus cattle in a structured manner, including cross referencing the country of origin’s Herd Book identification for all immigrant animals (including animals from which semen is imported) and providing electronic transfer of genetic evaluation information as required to enable accurate cross referencing of Angus genetics internationally and possibly later international genetic evaluation. (1997)

4.8 A task force was set up to identify recessive genetic defects and recommend a reporting system where all legal aspects are included. The task force is to report at the next technical meeting.

4.9 Each member country is encouraged to recognise the others and attempt to insure that the same ownership is recognised on any animal that exists in two or more herd books.


5.1 The following Angus characteristics are stressed in promotional activities: (1977)

  • a) Ability to adapt to various climates as a pure breed or as an unequaled cross breed with (British), Zebu, Continental or other European breeds.
  • b) Genetic characteristics of high fertility rate and ease of calving.
  • c) Mothering ability which results in a high percentage calf crop weaned and excellent weight gains and weaning weights.
  • d) High quality, highly palatable meat at various stages of development that permit the breed to function efficiently to various end points and under various nutritional regimes.
  • e) In cross breeding programs, Angus contribute high quality meat without excessive fat with optimum weight gains, maximum efficiency of production which reflects high fertility, low maintenance cost and outstanding feed conversion.

5.2 Various groups of Societies/Associations located in different geographic areas have joint promotional programs. (1975)

5.3 Breed promotion takes a high priority in member Societies/Associations. (1979)

5.4 Members send promotional materials that they believe could be useful to other members to the World Angus Secretariat for distribution. (1979)

5.5 All members agree to engage in activities to remove trade barriers so that live animals, embryos and semen may be exchanged between countries.


6.1 Angus Societies/Associations in participating countries coordinate the exchangee’s program in their country and provide an independent contact for the exchangees. (1995)

6.2 The exchangees are subject to a fairly stringent appraisal before being accepted as an exchangee. (1995)

6.3 The age range is 18 – 24 years. (1995)

6.4 The exchangee is responsible for arranging his/her own travel, visas etc., paying the fares to, from and within the country, and provides their own spending money. The host family provides food and accommodation. (1995)

6.5 Angus Societies/Associations in each country wishing to participate identify and arrange a number of their members who are willing to be host families to young people from another country who have an interest in Angus cattle. (1995)

6.6 The duration of the exchange is about three (3) months with up to six host families involved. This aspect of the Exchange program should be flexible. (1995)

6.7 The exchangee is not employed, so travels on a visitor’s visa, but is expected to assist with stock/farm work on the host’s property if/when required. (1995)


1) All countries wishing to cooperate on a research project to determine the feasibility of a world wide genetic evaluation are to inform the Australian Association. The results are to be reported to the next technical meeting. (2005)

2) A working Group including representatives from interested World Angus Secretariat members is formatted to explore the potential for development of an international genetic evaluation for Angus cattle, similar to the MACE system implemented for dairy bulls. Report to next Technical meeting. (2013)

3) Proxy voting at meetings to allow non attending countries to participate. American Angus to update Articles of Association to provide for this. (2017)