Appendix system in perspective

By Arno Cronje

At the time of writing there were a total of 6723 registered Sussex animals on the system, with an additional 754 “Appendix” animals. This equates to approximately 10% appendix animals on register, of which 475 are Appendix B animals and 249 Appendix A.

The term “Appendix” originates from a time when it had a separate section in the herd book, as was the case with polled animals. The term thus appendix refers to the separate section in the herd book.

The original purpose as mentioned in the minutes from 1971 onwards and accepted at a meeting in 1981 with a majority vote of 22/19, was to allow breeders with pure unregistered Sussex animals (above 87% Sussex genes) the opportunity to register these animals. As stipulated in these minutes, it was never the intention to breed 50/50 crosses up through the appendix system.

Purpose:

1. To increase female numbers in the market

a) It is very important that all breeders must have the assurance that animals which are registered through the Appendix system can be used with confidence in any herd.
b) These animals should therefore go through a strict selection process to ensure that they conform, not only phenotypically and genetically, but also to the performance requirements as set out in the by-laws.
c) The ideal female animal used for this purpose should be an unregistered Sussex female, preferable from a herd with a history of breeding predominantly pure Sussex animals.
d) These animals should therefore look like Sussex animals in all respects, with the only difference that they are not registered. (there are currently a few herds that are in the process of, or already have registered similar animals on the system)
e) Less desirable, but also allowed is typically “red” animals of selected other breeds with the aim of gradually switching to a pure Sussex herd.
f) Animals that were previously disqualified for phenotypical or performance reasons are not eligible to be taken up in the Appendix system.

2. The genetic improvement of the breed through desirable traits, e.g.: smooth coat or polled animals

a) The main purpose is to expand the gene pool through the bringing in of desirable traits.
b) The most common and well-known example is the polled factor, which originated from the Angus.
c) This process takes much longer, and the culling percentage is much higher.

Sale of “Appendix” or “Grade” animals at auctions:

The following decisions were taken at the Council meeting of 22 April 2021:

  1. National sale:
    1. No Appendix or Grade bulls will be allowed to be sold on the National sale
    2. Any appendix or grade female shall be sold as commercial females, and breeders should draw the attention to the appendix status of the animals in the “remarks” column, and it is the breeders responsibility to inform the auctioneer as such.
  2. Own production sales:
    1. The decision to sell appendix or grade animals at private production sales is the onus of the breeder.
    2. The status of the animals must clearly be indicated in the catalogue, and the auctioneer must explicitly announce this.
    3. It is also advised that appendix or grade animals are sold after the SP animals, to avoid any confusion or disputes.
  3. SX brand:

          As set out in the Sussex Constitution, only SP bulls may be branded with the SX brand on the left shoulder. No appendix animal may be branded with the SX brand.

We ask that all breeders respect this decision.

We intend holding a breed standard workshop for senior inspectors prior to the AGM in August 2021 where the appendix system will be reviewed and discussed in detail.