Frequently Asked Questions 

 

Flock book 

Who owns the breed flock book? 

The flock book is owned by Valais Blacknose Society; however, the registry is managed by Grassroots Systems Ltd on behalf of the Society and access is available to Gold society members who hold a full breeder membership only.  

Who do I contact if I have issues accessing the flock book? 

Should you experience any access issues, application errors, require support with lamb registrations, pedigree certificates, flock updates, DNA testing please contact Grassroots directly via email: agency@grassroots.co.uk 

How do I register my flock prefix? 

You can register a flock prefix when completing the Valais Blacknose Society online membership application form. Your prefix will appear on the Pedigree Certificate of all lambs subsequently registered and breed by you.  

Is there a time limit for registering lambs? 

Lambs can be birth notified via Grassroots when born and should be fully registered within 12 months. Late registrations will be governed by mandatory DNA parentage verification, additional late fee charges apply. 

How do I obtain pedigree registration certificates? 

When you register lambs or transfer ownership of registered sheep Grassroots will distribute pedigree certificates in accordance with the initial request. 

How do I transfer ownership of sheep? 

Registered breeders can transfer new ownership via Grassroots directly by login into their account, selecting ‘Manage My Animals’ followed by ‘Transfers’. Alternatively, new owners can complete the ‘transfer of ownership’ slip found on the animal’s pedigree certificate and return it to Grassroots by post. 

Why has the Grassroots interface changed? 

Grassroots have recently updated their website and created an app, any queries regarding this should be emailed to Grassroots. 

Do I have to purchase the Grassroots app? 

The Grassroots App enables you to manage your flock’s details and updates only, it is not a mandatory requirement to purchase the app. 

 

Memberships 

Do I have to join the society to register sheep? 

Should you wish to breed and register sheep you will need to join Valais Blacknose Society as a Gold member, you can do so via the following link: http://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/memberships/ 

Which membership should I opt for? 

Gold Membership: Breeder Membership for individuals and families with a single flock prefix. 

Silver Membership: Associate Membership for adult non-breeders. 

Bronze Membership: Junior Membership for non-breeders under 18. 

What if I need a family membership? 

The Gold Membership covers and individual breeder and their family with a single flock prefix, this will also entitle you to a single society vote. 

Can I be listed on the Valais Blacknose Society breeder map? 

All Gold members have the option to be listed on the Society’s breeder map. When completing your membership application form online be sure to check the tick box relating to breeder map. If you forget to do this, you will need to contact the Society directly to specifically request and grant your permission to be listed, you can do this by emailing: info@valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk 

How do I request access to the Society’s Facebook members forum? 

Please visit the Society’s Facebook page and request to be added to the group, you will need to quote your members reference number, once verified access will be granted: www.facebook.com/groups/vbsmemberforum/ 

Can I join the Valais Blacknose Society if I reside outside of the UK? 

Unfortunately, due to EU and DEFRA legislation the Society is unable to accept memberships from residents outside of the UK. Those wishing to join a Valais Blacknose Sheep society will need to join the relevant societies within their residing/neighbouring countries. 

 

General 

Why do all ram lambs have to be DNA tested? 

It is important to ensure that breeders maintain only the best males for breeding, compulsory DNA testing has been introduced for all ram lambs to encourage the castration of males which are unsuitable for breeding purpose with the objective of breed preservation.  

Must all ram lambs which do not meet the breed standards be castrated? 

Ram lambs which do not meet the breed standards (appearance, conformation and fleece) should be considered for castration. Castrated males are not eligible for full pedigree registration but can be listed as ‘non-breeding’ animals within the flock book and will be issued with a pink ‘non-breeding’ certificate for authenticity.  

How long do I have to castrate my ram lambs? 

Castration without an anaesthetic using a rubber ring should happen within the first week of life. Once a lamb reaches 3 months, castration must be carried out under anaesthetic by a vet please refer to the flock management section on our website for further details: https://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/flock-management/ 

Who do I contact to order DNA tests for my animals? 

You will need to contact Grassroots directly to request you DNA testing kits, you can also order them by login into Grassroots and selecting the ‘manage my flock’ tab. Please note that test results are managed by an external agency and can routinely take-up to 4-6 weeks depending on workload demand. 

Do my sheep have to be scrapie tested? 

It is not a mandatory requirement for sheep to be scrapie tested for birth notification or registration, however if you are looking to determine your sheep’s scrapie resistance or interested in exporting genetics testing can be organised via Grassroots or your Vets. 

Why have lamb registration costs increased? 

Registration costs have increased to reflect the flock book ownership and daily management fees previously applicable to (or absorbed by) Grassroots System Ltd. 

Why are Embryo Transfer (ET) lamb registration fees higher than lambs born from natural service? 

Additional resources are required to manage and process ET lamb registrations; therefore, prices reflect the associated administrative costs. 

 Can I register sheep imported from other countries? 

Valais Blacknose Society registry can only accept applications for Imported animals from European Zootech recognised registries, all relevant documentation should be provided to Grassroots prior to registration. 

Where can I find the Valais Blacknose Society rules? 

The Society rules can be found on our website, please take the time to familiarise yourselves with these: https://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/rules/ 

What is a CPH number? 

If you intend to keep livestock, you must apply for a County Parish Holding (CPH) number this must be done before moving livestock onto your land. Applications are managed by various authorities dependant on your geographical location please refer to the Government website for further details: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-land-you-use-to-keep-livestock 

What is EID Sheep Identification?  

EID’s are external electronic identifiers and are used to identify your sheep. All sheep need to be tagged with EID in the left ear (as viewed from behind) and a second tag in right ear in accordance with Government legislation. In the event of any sheep losing its tag it must be re-tagged with the original number. For further information please see the government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/sheep-and-goats-types-and-combinations-of-identifier 

Which ear tags should I use and what information needs to appear on them? 

The Society have no preference relating to ear tag types but please make sure that whichever kind you select they feature an UK flock number and an individual animal number. 

Is there a Valais Blacknose Breed-up Program in the UK? 

There is no, never has or will be a recognised breed up program in the UK.  Offspring born from cross bred animals cannot be registered with Grassroots as pedigree animals or listed as non-breeding stock. Numerous animals were imported into the UK back in 2014 and the focus is to protect and preserve those genetics. 

Where can I find healthcare related information? 

For healthcare related information please refer to the ‘Flock Management’ section on the Society website: https://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/flock-management/ 

How do I find stock for hire/sale? 

Please visit the Society’s breeder map on the website, whereby you can contact breeders directly to check on stock availability: https://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/breeders-map/ 

*Please note the Society is unable to provide breeder details, you will need to contact breeders direct. 

Can the Society provide information on stock for sale outside of the UK? 

Unfortunately, this is not something the Society can help with as we don’t have visibility to breeder stock or registries outside of the UK in which case, we recommend that you contact the country specific societies/breeders directly. 

Do UK breeders sell stock for export to other countries? 

Yes, some breeders sell stock if export is permitted and in line with the governing regulations. You will need to contact our members directly with your enquiry either via our breeder map which is available on the website or via their personal website/social media channels: https://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/breeders-map/ 

Where can I purchase Valais Blacknose fleeces from? 

Please contact our members directly with your request either via our breeder map which is available on the website or via their personal website/social media channels: https://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/breeders-map/ 

Where can I find information about upcoming Valais Blacknose Sheep Sales? 

Details and regular updates relating to Society show & sales can be found on both our website and social media channels: https://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/shows-events-schedule/ Valais Blacknose Society | Facebook 

Which agricultural shows offer dedicate Valais Blacknose breed classes? 

A list of all shows with dedicated breed classes can be found on our website, please see our show and events schedule: https://valaisblacknosesociety.co.uk/shows-events-schedule/ 

How much do Valais Blacknose Sheep cost? 

The prices of sheep vary greatly depending on bloodlines, grading scores, and overall quality of animals. It’s important to do your research first and speak to breeders directly and remember not all sheep are worthy of the higher price tag.