Longhorn show rules embrace disbudding

Longhorn breeders wishing to disbud calves can now do so without jeopardising the show ring future of their stock after a recent Longhorn Cattle Society rule change.

Disbudded Longhorn cattle can now be shown alongside horned Longhorns after the society altered rules for practical and commercial reasons.

The society said the decision – taken on Saturday (14 October) – was reached to help breeders sell cull cows to abattoirs making it more difficult to trade horned cattle and for general animal welfare.

See also: Longhorn cattle sell to 3,000gns at Worcester

Disbudded cattle were previously only allowed at Society sales with show classes.

Step forward

Longhorn Society chairman Bernard Llewellyn said the decision was a “great step forward for the breed”.

Longhorn cattle

  • Around 1,500 females registered each year
  • Around 400 members, of which 40 show
  • More than 8,000 breeding females out working

He added: “It will allow members who wish to disbud their heifer calves as well as their male calves the flexibility to choose their best animals to enter into shows, which are a major shop window for the breed, and either keep them in their own herds or sell top quality cattle to other suckler herds where they will be a huge asset.”

Breed secretary Debbie Dann said the rule change will take some time to affect the appearance of the breed.

She added: “We are still primarily a pedigree breed, with members finding their own niche outlets for the beef, but as you say increasingly native breeds are becoming more popular due to their lower management costs. 

“There are no specific schemes for Longhorns because we are still numerically too small for major outlets.”