American Angus Association

June 12, 2009


Dear fellow Angus breeders,


Following nearly five days of careful and thoughtful deliberation regarding Arthrogryposis Multiplex (AM) and Neuropathic Hydrocephalus (NH), I am writing to inform you of our decisions regarding this important matter.


The American Angus Association has adopted a combined policy regarding both AM and NH. The combined policy does three things.


First, it expands the window of opportunity in which members can continue to register heifers that are known carriers of these defects. The “sunset” provision for registration of AM-carrier heifers is now December 31, 2011. The “sunset” provision for registration of NH-carrier heifers is June 14, 2012. Beginning January 1, 2010, AM-carrier bulls – and June 15, 2010, NH-carrier bulls – will not be eligible for registration.


Second, it continues to provide commercial producers with the information they need to make sound and scientifically based decisions when investing in Angus genetics. It ensures that all registered bull and heifer calves produced by carrier parents be tested for these defects, and that the results of these tests appear on the animal’s registration.


Third, it protects the genetic integrity of Angus. While all cattle breeds are affected on occasion by genetic defects, we believe the open and aggressive policy we put in place last fall – combined with advances in DNA testing and technology – will enable Angus breeders to use sound science to move more rapidly and aggressively away from genetic defects than at any time in history.


While we realize that not everyone will be completely satisfied with this policy, please know your board of directors carefully evaluated all sides of this issue during our discussions this week. I am proud of the work they did.


It is important that you know how seriously we weighed all of your concerns and suggestions. The policy we’ve approved is based on hundreds of conversations, letters and emails from across the country. We appreciate the input and guidance you gave us, and appreciate your continued support as we build a brighter future for all of us.

Click here to view the updated policy.


Best regards,


Jay P. King


American Angus Association