Belfair Cattle Registry (BCR)

Herd Book Rules and Regulations

Belfair cow
Photo credit: Renee Ekum,Triple E Acres Farm, Wisconsin

BCR logoBelfair Cattle Registry Incentive for New Members

The Belfair Cattle Registry offers new members the opportunity to register or transfer any animal regardless of age for the special price of $10 per animal during their first year of membership. Registering and identifying your animals is an investment that can increase value by knowing and documenting their ancestry.

Belfair Cattle Herd Book Divisions

The International Livestock Registries establishes herd books to register unique breeds or composite populations of cattle, and to document and maintain their pedigree and records for future generations. In the Belfair Cattle Registry (BCR), only animals from approved breeds (or breed composition) will be accepted for registry in BCR Division I and Division II. Animals not meeting requirements for the Belfair herd book may be recorded, but not registered as a Belfair. They can be registered in the open ILR general dairy or beef herd book. A complete list of ILR Approved Livestock Breeds is maintained by the Registry and may be amended at any time.

table 1.
composite purebred fullblood chart fractions

The Belfair Cattle Registry offers the following herd book divisions:

The Following are proposals, to be finally decided by Belfair Breeders and Historian / Composite Breed founder, Tracy Teed upon completion of Belfair History.

Registry Divisions and Sections may be amended as needed should a breed or group of breeders wish to have an individual breed or a composite of designated breed combinations for identifying these cattle with their own identity.

Registration Certificates

Percentage of all breeds and pedigrees will be recorded and listed on the registry certificate. Any breed percentage of two or less may be dropped and added to the predominant breed if genotypically and phenotypically similar. Animals greater than 99% of any breed, will not be rounded up to 100%, nor upgraded from purebred to fullblood. Fullblood is restricted to animals with 100% purity. Letter abbreviations for breeds will be determined, in part, by accepted national and international cattle industry standards.

Animals in the Belfair Cattle Registry will be eligible for all programs of the Registry. To be eligible for these programs futurities and shows, animals must be registered in the Belfair Cattle Registry.

Application for registration must be made on a form provided by the International Livestock Registries, the Belfair Cattle Registry, a photocopy of approved breed certificate, or other forms that may be approved and/or accepted.

The application for registry shall state the bloodlines of the ancestors of the animal. If either the sire or dam of any animal is registered in an International Livestock Registries (ILR) cattle herd book, this name and registry number must be used. If either the sire or dam is registered in another breed association, that name and registry number must be used. If either the sire or dam is unregistered, an identification number and or name must be given on the application. This identification must not be duplicated on any other animal in the herd. This animal will then be given an identifier number in the Belfair Cattle Registry (BCR) and must be used when registering other resulting offspring. If no identification number is known or given the sire and/or dam will be listed on the certificate of registry as "unknown". If any animal designated as "unknown" is alive or photo is available, a photo is required for records.

All cattle shall be named and may not consist of more than 30 spaces, including any prefixes or suffixes. Punctuation is not permitted. Animals in pedigree already registered with punctuated names cannot be changed, but may have puctuation omitted in some uses for data processing. Names shall not duplicate names of animals previously registered. The following suffixes are required:

A heifer born twin to a bull calf can be recorded, but not registered unless she is proven to be a breeder by DNA test, or by producing a PV DNA proven calf.

Breeder's prefix (herd name) must be kept as the first part of the animal's name.

The breeder of an animal shall be listed as the recorded owner or lessee of the dam at time of breeding.

For offspring of leased females a completed and signed BCR Lease Agreement by the lessor and lessee must be submitted and on file with the BCR. The lessee shall be considered the breeder of any offspring conceived during the time period of the lease agreement.

Offspring of a dam registered in the Belfair Cattle Registrymust be registered to the owner or lessee of dam at time of calving.

Required animal identification shall be in the form of 2 or more of the following:

International Year Letter Designation for Animal Identification

The tattoo can be located in one or both ears of the animal and must contain standard Arabic numbers and English Letters. No two animals of the same sex registered by the same breeder shall be given identical tattoos EXCEPT a breeder may use the same mark and location on the same sex animal after ten years. The tattoo and its location shall be stated on application for registration. Documentation must be provided for brand, RFID or microchips.

Applications may be rejected where, due to birth dates, phenotype or other irregularities, they are deemed to be unreliable. It is provided, however, that a request for review may be made and an offer to the person submitting the application to make corrections. Applications shall include the following statement: "As recorded owner or authorized agent of the Dam of this animal at time of birth, (I / we) hereby certify that all information on this registration application is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and that the Belfair Cattle Registry shall have the privilege to correct and/or cancel this application under the Rules and Regulations of the Registry. By submitting this document, (I / we) hereby agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Belfair Cattle Registry."

Resolving Errors in Registry

The following policy with regard to resolving registry errors has been adopted. A letter is to be sent to the owner requesting that the discrepancy be checked and verification of the correct information be sent to the Belfair Cattle Registry. If no response is received to the first letter, a second letter shall be sent stating that the situation must be rectified or, all animals in question will be expunged from the records of the Belfair Cattle Registry.

Transfer of Ownership

Sale of all animals registered in the Belfair Cattle Registry should be reported to the Belfair Cattle Registry within 30 days of sale. The fee for transfer of ownership reported within 30 days of sale shall be less than the fee for sales reported after 60 days. Transfer of ownership shall be made on forms supplied by the Registry and the seller is expected to furnish the buyer promptly with a transferred certificate giving the correct date of sale and paying the fee unless stipulated when the animal is sold that the buyer is responsible for transfer fee. Any transfer may be cancelled by the Registry upon application by both parties or upon application of one party and due notice given to the other party. Transfers will be cancelled only for error or where delivery of the animal was not consummated.

Registry of Herd Name / Prefix

The Belfair Cattle Registry shall maintain a list of reserved herd names (prefix) which may not be infringed upon. Breeders may register their herd name (prefix) at no charge. Members of an immediate family may, by written consent of the prefix holder, use the same herd prefix. Principle owner of farm must be named if the animals are registered in the farm name.

Fraud or Deception

The provisions of the rules with respect to fraud and deception shall be applicable.


The Belfair Cattle Registry has the power to establish fees for registration, transfers, and other registry work. All fees must accompany the work to be completed by the Registry unless accounts have been previously opened. Fees will be payable online in the future (stay tuned). Payments are taken over the phone, or mailed checks are made payable to the International Livestock Registries. Until we get Belfair forms made, early members can use the forms & fees established by the International Livestock Registries (ILR) International Dairy Cattle Registry HERE.

Genetic Defects, Conditions and Abnormalities

Reference: Homestead & Miniature Cattle Directory of DNA tests. It is now accepted that all species, including all breeds of cattle, (probably all animals), have mutations and carry some genetic defects, conditions or abnormalities present in their DNA. Read more about DNA mutations HERE.

The Belfair Cattle Registry's policy regarding genetic defects, conditions and abnormalities that are pathological (disease) conditions of genetic origin are as follows: These types of abnormalities are known as "genetic defects." Genetic defects include an impairment of health or a condition of abnormal function, due to an abnormal or mutated gene.

The policy of the Belfair Cattle Registry is to provide information which relates to the status of these genetic defects that are currently known or as they become known. Once any genetic defects become known that information will be made available to the membership concerning the risk and its management.

Animals that are not DNA tested, and are from untested animals from known carriers or potential carriers can be registered, but their registration certificates shall have the following statement printed on the registration certificate:

"This animal has one or more ancestors with known presence of a genetic defect, abnormality or condition that can result in offspring that may or may not have the presence of the genetic defect, abnormality or condition. An approved test is available and is advised to determine the presence or absence of the genetic defect, abnormality or condition before breeding."

Furthermore these animals may have the genetic defect, abnormality or condition code on the pedigree followed by the letter "P" for Potential Carrier.

Animals that are either sired by or out of dams that are from descendants that are known carriers or potential carriers of genetic defects that have been tested by an approved laboratory and determined to be free of the presence in their DNA shall be noted on the pedigree of the genetic defect code followed by the letter "F" for Free. Animals that have been tested positive as a carrier will have the code followed by the letter "C" for Carrier, and the words "Genetic Defect Carrier" printed on their registration papers and any other documents or literature either in print or digitally. The presence of a recessive carrier is not to be penalized in ANY way, only that it should be properly mated to tested negative animals.

ETHICS: Animals that test positive to any dominant or semi-penetrant deleterious mutation, will be labeled that on its papers, which constitutes a warning that it should not be bred. Animals that test positive to a recessive deleterious mutation, will be labeled as a carrier on its papers, which constitutes a warning that it should only be bred to tested free mates. The Belfair Cattle Registry considers it unethical to offer--or to advertise--animals, semen or embryos for sale--from animals to be known or potential carriers of genetic defects for sale and not inform a buyer or potential buyer of the presence or potential presence of said genetic defects.

DNA Typing and Verification of Records

The Belfair Cattle Registry is committed to the accuracy and integrity of animals that are registered and accepted into the herd book.

The Belfair Cattle Registry contracts with Neogen Geneseek as the primary provider of DNA genotyping and testing. Neogen offers an affordable BBR test, to determine if a cow carries high enough % Jersey to qualify as a purebred. The Belfair Cattle Registry will also accept test results from other genetic laboratories that have results accepted and approved by other Registries, Associations and Organizations in the cattle industry.

Contact the Belfair Cattle Registry for proper forms and instructions for DNA or blood typing work.

All animals that are required to have DNA typing must have a DNA genotype on file with the Registry. When parent verification is required, animal must be parent verified to sire and dam via DNA typing. The only exception to this is where one or both parents are deceased and there is no method for acquiring a sample for DNA typing.

The Belfair Cattle Registry requires DNA typing and/or parent verification for the following situations:

BULLS - DNA and Blood Typing Rules

All bulls whose semen has been or will be collected for use in Artificial Insemination must be DNA parentage verified and / or genotyped along with his living parents that that have not been blood typed. It is recommended that they also have a DNA genotype profile done. Additionally any bull used for Artificial Insemination must also be tested for any undesirable genetic abnormalities that are a possibility. The DNA typing and testing shall be done at the owner's expense and the results of these test must be made available to the Belfair Cattle Registry before use of the semen to produce calves eligible for ILR registration.

Bulls that are registered with other Registries and Associations have similar rules and regulations regarding the DNA and blood typing of bulls. Any bull that has been registered or previously registered with any other Registry or Association shall abide by the rules regarding the DNA and blood typing rules of that registry and make available to the Belfair Cattle Registry the results of such tests as required.

Semen Identification of Bulls

Bulls being used for breeding by artificial insemination must have proper identification of the semen for the accuracy of information and cross-referencing to insure that offspring resulting from artificial insemination can be properly identified.

The accepted requirements for identifying each unit (straw, ampoule, etc.) of semen are as follows:

  1. The name and registration number of the bull.
  2. NAAB (National Association of Animal Breeders) stud code of the organization freezing semen.
  3. Breed Code (This is the 2 letter code for the breed) [LINK GOES HERE]
  4. Bull Code Number (the number assigned by the collecting stud)
  5. In the case of semen that has been imported from other countries, many do not follow these same rules and requirements regarding the identification used on the units of semen. Many of them identify bulls by a herdbook number. When these situations arise and to make cross-referencing with the NAAB and others in the use of the semen and properly coding and identifying the bulls, bulls must be listed and registered with the Belfair Cattle Registryand the herdbook number must become part of the name. The fee for registering and listing foreign bulls regardless of age with the Belfair Cattle Registryshall be at the lowest current rate for registering animals. The entity that has processed the semen must have a stud code number that has been assigned to them by the NAAB and then assign NAAB coding as outlined in (b,c,d) as listed above, that can be used for the purpose of cross-referencing.

NAAB Cross-Referencing Program

The NAAB Cross-Reference Program maintains identification information on bulls which have been assigned NAAB codes. Use of NAAB codes by beef producers for sire identification purposes continues to be popular. NAAB has a database which cross-references NAAB codes to official identification numbers as a service to bull owners. Participation in this service is open to any qualified owner or lessor of bulls which have had semen collected.

The NAAB cross-reference database also maintains information on bulls which make genetic evaluations more useful. Many cows have their sires identified by the NAAB code. Many service sires are identified by their NAAB code when breeding data is recorded for farm management purposes. By participating in the NAAB Cross Reference Program allows for these numbers to be converted to official identification numbers.

Enrolling a bull in the NAAB Cross-Reference Program automatically gets him listed in Beef or Dairy Bulls in A.I. Dairy Bulls in A.I. are distributed to DHI supervisors, A.I. Sire Analysts, DRPC's, dairy producers and others inquiring about sire identity. The NAAB Cross-Reference Program corresponds with the USDA-AIPL (Council on Dairy cattle Breeding - CDCB) genetic evaluations. Beef Bulls in A.I. are enrolled in the NAAB Cross-Reference Program which allows for improved identification of their offspring and greatly enhances the bull having a most complete genetic evaluation.

Please contact the Belfair Cattle Registry for forms and more information concerning enrolling bulls in the NAAB Cross-Reference Program.

COWS - DNA and Blood Typing Rules

All females used as donor dams in an embryo transfer program must be DNA genotyped and tested. The DNA typing and testing shall be done at the owner's expense and the results of these test will be made available to the Belfair Cattle Registry.

Donor females that are not registered with the Belfair Cattle Registry must have DNA type on file with the breed association that the donor is registered in or be DNA typed with the results reported to the Belfair Cattle Registry.

CALVES: All offspring to be registered resulting from matings where the dam was bred to more than one sire within twenty-four days, whether by artificial insemination or natural mating will be evaluated for required sire verification by DNA typing. Using a 10 day window on either side of the calf's date of birth for service dates and if multiple AI Dates and/or the beginning Natural Service date falls within this 10 day window, the calf must be DNA typed for sire verification. The DNA typing and testing shall be done at the owner's expense and the results of these tests must be on file with the Belfair Cattle Registry before a registration certificate will be issued.

RANDOM DNA TYPING: The Belfair Cattle Registry reserves the right to request that DNA typing be required should parentage be in question. This DNA typing will be at the owners expense. Also on occasion the Belfair Cattle Registry may AT THE REGISTRY'S EXPENSE randomly request that DNA typing be performed before a registration certificate will be issued.

EXCEPTIONS: The Belfair Cattle Registry shall reserve the right to grant exception pertaining to parent verification if the sire and/or dam are deceased.

OTHER: Samples from animals that are submitted for DNA typing may be parent verified if the DNA typing records are on file for the sire and/or dam.

After an animal has been registered with the Belfair Cattle Registry, and should such registration come into question for its validity, the Registry shall have the power to suspend the registration and investigate the matter. If it is found that the animal has been registered improperly, then the animal and any offspring of said animal will be corrected or removed from the Registry.

If an animal has been accepted for registration using current method of parent verification at the time of registration, the parentage of the animal shall not be questioned in the future even though a newer method of parent verification becomes available which is more accurate.

Cell-cloned transplants

The following requirements shall apply to the registration of calves resulting from cell-cloned transplants.

Only replication cell-cloned animals shall be eligible for registration. Genetically modified animals shall not be eligible for registration.

The cell-donor animal must be DNA-marker-typed.

The breeder of the cell-donor animal must be identified as the breeder of the cell-cloned offspring.

The owner of record of the cell-donor, on the date of biopsy removal, will be identified as the first owner, unless the calf is a result of a pregnant recipient, purchased embryo, fresh or frozen, in which case the purchaser may be identified as the first owner.

DNA-marker-typing of the cell-cloned animal, or recipient dams, may be required by the Registry.

Calves conceived after death of cell-donor animals, shall be eligible for registration under the same conditions and provisions governing the eligibility of calves prior to the death of said animal.

Registration of cell-cloned transplants shall be made on a special form, provided by the Belfair Cattle Registry, at the regular fee, plus an additional fee as determined by the Registry.

Registration certificates issued for cell-cloned transplants shall be so designated. The registration number of the animal, which is being cell cloned, shall also be stated on the certificate of registration.

The Belfair Cattle Registry shall develop forms necessary to identify the source of the nuclear DNA.

The Belfair Cattle Registry shall not take any position as to the ownership rights, if any, of retained cell material. That is a separate matter to be determined by the original written agreement or reserved for discussion or negotiation between the buyer and seller.

It is to be understood that even though clones share the same genetic information, only those production and performance records of offspring that pertain to the cloned animal will be used in its own genetic evaluations.


Belfair Cattle Registry (BCR)
an International Livestock Registries (ILR) Herd Book