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Whole Herd Grade Up

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Contact Membership Services, a Holstein UK Classifier or the CIS team who will then arrange for a Field Officer to visit your farm at a convenient time to discuss the next steps.

You must be a Holstein UK member to Grade Up, a team member will advise you how to sign up and register a prefix.

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The Field Officer will collect information on cows going back as many generations as necessary.

Information is taken from on farm records, milk records & software along with a BCMS or DARDNI download of animals on the holding.

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The Field Officer will gather as much information as possible and walk through the cows to advise on Breeding Tools available from Holstein UK, the Type Classification system and check for any cross breeding in the herd.

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The Field Officer will create a spreadsheet of all alive Holstein/Friesian animals on the farm which are then sorted into families.

Cost can be established at this stage; if the grade up is done on Fast Track Pedigree, cost can be determined as soon as the data is checked. If members pay through direct debit, the cost of the grade up can be spread over 6-12 months.

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Once the data has been collated, the Field Officer will go through it with the Member, making sure only animals they want registering are on the list. Non breeders etc. can be excluded. 

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The Field Officer will ensure that the farm knows how to register calves by internet or telephone within 45 days of their date of birth and will discuss pedigree packages such as THR and Holstein Complete.


Holstein UK offers a grading up procedure to enable members with non-pedigree animals to start the process to become pedigree. The member will be asked to sign a declaration at the start of the Whole Herd Grade Up to verify that the animals entered are not under any DEFRA movement or compulsory slaughter restrictions. 

A Whole Herd Grade Up offer is open to all members with non-pedigree animals, irrespective of numbers. Only one application will be accepted per member, so it is important that all non-pedigree animals are applied for.

Note: Animals must have been born on the members’ farm otherwise they can only be registered as ASR. 

Holstein UK rules of registration are those that are contained in the European Directive 2016- 1012 on animals that have 87.5% bloodlines in recognition as that breed. Holstein UK calculate percentage bloodline and breed purity up to 100%. 

All animals that do not have authenticated parentage will enter the ASR register. Animals that have died may enter the ASR register as Dead ASRs, so long as they have a registered sire. Those with authentication of sire and dam can enter the BSR register, or Herd Book register, depending upon the percentage breed purity. 

All applications must be verified by official records. The process involves a staff member visiting the farm and inspecting the animals to check ear tags and that there is no evidence of cross breeding. In areas of doubt the animal can be DNA tested to establish parentage, however this is not used often as animals in doubt are placed in the ASR register. 

Dead ASR can be registered with an ear tag, registered pedigree sire and a name. 

Alive ASRs are registered in their own right with a family name, ear tag, line number, date of birth and a pedigree sire, if this can be verified as out lined above, a certificate is not issued for these animals. BSRs are progeny out of the ASR group bred to a pure breed registered sire. They are registered with full details of the ear tag / date of birth / dam /sire details verified as outlined above, and a certificate is issued for these animals. 

Calves registered from BSR bulls cannot be graded up to full pedigree and either remain as BSR or are registered as ASR. 

Full Pedigree animals are registered out of BSR dams with a full pedigree sire, or other full pedigree animals. 

Details are collected as for BSR registration and a certificate is issued for these animals. 

Once animals have been graded up, their calves must be registered by telephone or the internet within the normal time limits.

For further information, or to Grade Up your herd, please contact Membership Services on 01923 695200 or info@holstein-uk.org


Westhouse Herd Grade Up

Alan Fisher farms with his wife Julie and three children, in partnership with his wife’s parents  - on their 200 acre farm, Westhouse Farm in Cumbria. The farm consists of 240 animals – made up of the 160 pedigree dairy herd and additional young stock. The farm restocked with pedigree cattle after the Foot & Mouth outbreak of 2001 and continued to be registered as pedigree after getting a Holstein prefix.

Westhouse Farm has been milk recording with CIS with good milk records going back many generations – with a wealth of data built up. In January of this year the family took a business decision to grade up the whole herd.

Alan Fisher says; “When I first considered grading up the whole herd, I have to admit it did seem a daunting task but knowing that pedigree attracts a premium and with the ability to follow animals heredity to make breeding decisions, I soon became interested in the opportunities it presents. The upgrade process was extremely simple and was precisely managed by the CIS team. I provided Marion Holliday (HUK Member Support Officer) with my BCMS number to that they could check through my herd data – and the whole herd was upgraded on Fast Track Pedigree. It could not have been easier! It is too soon to be seeing major improvements but I am feeling very optimistic about the results to come."