Valais Blacknose Society (VBS) was founded in January 2021 following the merger of Valais Blacknose Sheep Society UK and Valais Blacknose Breed Society, both of which were established in 2015 soon after the first imported sheep arrived in the UK.  

The society is committed to promoting and raising awareness of this unique breed and strives to preserve and uphold the Swiss breed standards in conjunction with supporting and educating fellow breeders to continue producing quality stock and has gained Defra zootechnical recognition. 

The council comprises of 12 elected members from across the UK with equal representation from both legacy societies. The merger has enabled ownership of the breed registry and the combining of resources to further enhance communications, breed education, events and a greater opportunity to establish new dedicated breed classes at national, regional, and county shows across the UK and Northern Ireland. 

Commenting on the recent merger, David Hodge, Joint Chairman VBS said: “We are  thrilled  that both  societies have now merged, this can  only be a positive  step forward to help us continue to strengthen the breed and unite our member communities. Over the past couple of years, we have witnessed a phenomenal percentage increase in breeders reflecting the ever-increasing interest in Valais Blacknose sheep. Memberships figures to date are now higher than the combined figures for both societies in past years which is incredibly encouraging for both the Society and future breed preservation.” 

Raymond Irvine, joint Chairman VBS added: “2020  was a  difficult year for everyone  due to COVID-19.  The cancellation of shows  and  compulsory restrictions  have impacted us all greatly, both economically and socially. However, it was a period which enabled us as two separate societies to re-evaluate and bring the merger to fruition. Our primary focus for the coming year is our members and we will continue to provide online support via our website, social media channels and forums with the hope that we can deliver both Society shows and sales later in the year.” 

To help further develop the new Society feedback is imperative and members are encouraged to engage with the Council to help drive and shape future aspirations to benefit the entire Valais Blacknose community.