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What to know about


The purpose of animal and livestock registries are largely trusted and taken for granted by their members. However, with shrinking profit margins in the cattle business, registries can feel added pressures to survive. Since survival is a pre-requisite for a registry to achieve its original mission and goals, sometimes a registry's primary purpose can be placed at risk of being superseded by a secondary purpose. Although the main tangible product that a registry produces is a registration certificate, there are intangible, original responsibilities that registries perform to create the value that their registration certificate conveys. Here are some universal primary and secondary purposes and obligations of registries:


Primary Purpose of a “Heritage” Breed Registry

  1. to protect and preserve a breed's purity and history


Primary Purpose of a “Modern” Breed Registry

  1. to keep complete, accurate records to document the breed's history and development


Secondary Purposes of a Breed Registry



When issues arise... If ever PRIMARY and SECONDARY PURPOSES collide, a secondary registry purpose can or may be implemented at the cost of properly supporting a primary purpose. Boards of trustees, officers, or influential breeders, do not protect from issues that arise from quests for status or profits. Whether a registry is privately owned and run or publicly owned and run by boards of directors, all are at risk for the wrong things to be done for the wrong reasons, or, for secondary purposes getting placed above primary purposes.



An ethical registry that is committed to its primary purpose before its secondary purposes will have to incorporate some degree of the following preventative measures in its mission, goals & bylaws:


deeper understandings

IDENTIFY POTENTIAL CONFLICTS in order to avoid them: STATUS and STATUS REVISITED... Not every political issue that arises within registries is about money... some issues are about status. Status poisons more or less everything it touches. Status forces us to think in terms of position, hierarchy, and dominance, and can’t possibly do otherwise; it is built solely upon our standing relative to others. Status automatically creates division and conflict, and always will. Not only does status poison our inter-relationships, it poisons our self-image. It requires us, always, to think of ourselves as above or below every other person. If above, we’re given to arrogance and abuse. If below, we’re given to resentment and to lashing out. Both errors lead to inner decay and outer conflict.

A successful registry will understand potential risks, and install safeguards from the start. Such safeguards can be built in the registry's infrastructure--from its mission statement--to its goals, bylaws, rules--even to its job descriptions for officers and personnel. In this way, a registry is more likely to be run by decision-makers who understand the difference between its primary purpose and its secondary purposes; who are willing, able and determined to apply registry rules and bylaws with care, courage & tact. An ethical registry will always put the welfare of its breed first and foremost, and will thereby earn its membership's trust and loyalty for generations to come.


sources & resources

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What to Know About Breeds of Homestead & Miniature Cattle
What is the difference between "Fullblood" and "Purebred"?
DNA TESTS for Homestead & Miniature Breeds of Cattle
Genetic Mutations: 12 Fascinating Facts about DNA that a genetics lab may not tell you
Free Mans Perspective


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Homestead & Miniature Cattle Directory

Homestead Cattle Association

Homestead & Miniature Cattle Registry
Heritage Cattle Registry

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author: Donna Grace Vickery
©published 01-20-2016