Rules of the GALWAY SHEEP BREEDERS’ ASSOCIATION LTD.
Objectives, governance, membership and breed description:
1. The aims and objectives of the Association are:
i. The preservation of the Galway Sheep breed.
ii. The dissemination of information about the Galway breed and the promotion of the breed.
iii. The organisation of sales of purebred Galway Sheep.
2. The business of the Association shall be conducted by a Council – consisting of a President, Chairperson, Secretary, the board of Directors and 3 ordinary members – to be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Association. The Council shall meet at least twice a year.
3. An Ordinary General Meeting of the Association shall be held each year. This Meeting shall have the power to make, amend or rescind rules.
4. The Council may summon an Extraordinary General Meeting for the purposes of deciding upon proposals, to make, amend or rescind rules. Acceptance of a proposal to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting shall require a simple majority of the Council members present.
5. Membership of the Association shall be conferred by the Council subject to the following conditions:
i. Candidates for membership must be proposed and seconded by members of the Association and elected by a majority of the Council members present.
ii. A membership fee as set by the Council is paid.
iii. Each member shall pay an annual subscription as set by the Council.
iv. A breeder must have a minimum of 5 purebred Galway females before he/she can be considered for membership of The Galway Sheep Breeders’ Association.
v. All members are required to enrol their Galway flock with Sheep Ireland and provide the records necessary for maintenance of the Flock-book
6. Only animals entered in the Association’s Flock-book and the property of members of the Association shall be eligible for entry in Shows and Sales organised by the Association. Competitions for premiums or prizes funded in whole or in part by the funds of the Association shall be confined to animals entered in the Association’s Flock Book.
7. Every member must observe all byelaws, regulations and orders of the Council for the government and work of the Association, and for shows and sales held by or in connection therewith, and must pay any and all fines and forfeits that the Council shall, in pursuance of its powers, impose.
8. The Association reserves the right to control and legislate for any artificial reproductive techniques used by breeders.
9. The rules of the Association shall be notified to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for approval to ensure adherence to EU zootechnical legislation.
10. Nothing in these rules shall be used for any discriminatory treatment of breeders or potential breeders of registered Galway Sheep. Eligibility for entry in the Flock-book is only governed by the rules herein.
11. Appeals – where a member considers he/she has been unfairly treated, they have the right to have their case examined by an Appeals Committee. The appeals committee shall be appointed by the Council and composed of members not involved with the dispute and/or experts. The appeals procedure to be applied shall be as follows:
i. Stage 1: A member who feels aggrieved in relation to any matter pertaining to Association business should write, in the first instance, to the Chairman of the Council making it clear that Stage 1 of the appeal procedure is being invoked. The Chairman will reply as soon as is reasonably practicable, but in any case within 30 days from receipt of the letter from the applicant.
ii. Stage 2: If the grievance remains unresolved at Stage 1, or a reply is not forthcoming from the Council Chairman within 30 days, the member(s) may request in writing that at their next Council meeting, the Council shall allow the member(s) to attend the meeting during the period that the grievance is being considered. The member will be allowed to make an oral submission on the grievance. The Council will then consider the issue and must communicate its decision to the appellant within 30 days.
iii. Stage 3: If the issue remains unresolved after Stage 2, the member(s) may request an independent hearing. Appeals at Stage 3 will be heard by an individual or group of individuals with appropriate expertise, and agreed by both parties to the dispute. From the date of appointment of the person(s) hearing the appeal, the case will be heard and the decision taken will be communicated to both parties within 3 months. The person(s) hearing the case will decide on the apportionment of costs.
iv. Stage 4: Any dispute that remains unresolved after Stage 3 may be pursued by invoking provisions under the legal personality of the Society (1963 Companies Act).
12. All members and persons associated with a member must conduct themselves in an acceptable and appropriate manner at all time in relation to Association business. Any member or associated person witnessed or reported to be physically or verbally aggressive towards any individual carrying out their duties on behalf of the Galway Sheep Breeders’ Association, will be reported to the Council for sanction.
13. The Association, its servants or agents shall not be responsible for injury, loss or damage to any person, animal or property occurring during or as a result of inspections or generally carrying out the business of the Association or any Association-related activity.
14. Galway Breed Characteristics
i. Colour – White
ii. Head – Hornless; back of head, between and underneath the ears covered with short wool and showing a medium bob. Ears of good length and of fine texture and free from black or brown spots. Nostrils dark in colour and wide. Rams should have a bold masculine head of medium size.
iii. Neck – Thick, short and well set.
iv. Shoulders – Well laid, level and wide at top.
v. Chest – Wide, deep and well forward.
vi. Ribs – Well sprung
vii. Back – Long and level with strong, wide loin; rump wide and well fleshed, back bone not prominent.
viii. Barrel – Deep, thick and long with straight underline.
ix. Legs – Medium length, straight, square and well apart, having good bone and covered with wool to the knees and hocks. Slight feather on hind legs below the hocks, permissible but not desirable. Hind quarters deep, full and broad. Feet sound and well-shaped with short, straight pasterns. Hoof black with sound horn.
x. Fleece – White and moderately long. Fibre wavy and of fine texture; staple broad, closely set and free from tips. Belly well covered with short, thick wool. The fleece in general should be as uniform in fibre texture as possible.
xi. Skin – Light and pink in colour.
xii. Carriage – Gay and alert.
The Galway Flock Book
15. Registration of animals in the Galway Flock-book is available only to members of the Galway Sheep Breeders Association Ltd, and it is also a requirement that breeders be enrolled with Sheep Ireland at the time of registration.
16. The Flock-book is composed of a main section only. To be eligible for entry in the Flock-book an animal must satisfy the following conditions:
i. Its’ parents and grandparents must be entered in the Flock-book.
ii. It must be identified from birth according to the rules of the Flock-book.
17. A fee is charged for entry in the Flock-book; a fee is also charged for issuing a certificate of registration. An annual fee per ewe is payable for registered ewes whose lambs have been recorded with Sheep Ireland. These fees will be revised regularly by the Council and details are available on request.
18. Animals will only be eligible for entry in the Flock-book within their year of birth and where all the required lambing details have been provided.
19. Permanent animal identification in the Flock-book shall consist of a unique 2-letter flock code + year of birth (2 digits) + an individual number that must be unique within a given flock. The National Sheep Identification System (NSIS) will be used to provide the unique individual number portion of the animal identification. The identification is to be done in accordance with the following:
i. Breeders must identify lambs at birth by inserting a permanent NSIS tag in the left ear and the corresponding EID tag in the right ear, and must record on the lambing record the individual animal NSIS number printed on the male part of the NSIS tag.
ii. The female part of the NSIS tag must be embossed with the breeder’s unique 2-letter flock code + the 2-digit year of birth number.
20. The Association will arrange for the issue of registration certificates for all males upon entry in the Flock-book. Certificates for females in the Flock-book will be provided upon request and payment of the prescribed fee. Certificates will conform to the specification set out in Directive 90/258/EEC of the EU Commission.
21. Members will record transfer of ownership: name, address and flock code of the new owner and date of sale is to be completed on the reverse side of the Pedigree Certificate and accompany the animal on sale. All subsequent transfers of ownership will be recorded in the same manner. Members must also update their flock profile on Sheep Ireland’s database to reflect any movement in or out of their flock.
22. The Association reserves the right to remove an animal from the Flock-book and withdraw its certificate of registration on the basis of information found to be inaccurate or misleading.
23. The Galway Sheep Breeders Association Ltd requires that a random sample of newly registered animals be DNA tested to verify parentage thereof. A minimum of 1 in 40 registrations will be checked in this manner. The Sheep Ireland database system will be adapted to notify the Galway Sheep Breeders Association Ltd of the list of animals to be submitted for DNA testing. The Association will pay the cost of this routine parentage verification. The Council reserves the right to request a breeder to facilitate additional parentage testing where it is considered necessary; the associated cost must be paid by the breeder.
24. The Council shall appoint an Inspection Committee that will be responsible for maintenance of breed standards and for the accuracy of pedigree records. The Inspection Committee shall have the power to:-
i. Examine members’ flocks and records for the purposes of maintaining breed standards and ensuring the accuracy of all pedigree information.
ii. Require the provision of blood and/or tissue samples for the purposes of checking pedigree information, using appropriate procedures, if deemed necessary.
25. Alteration of Flock-book rules - any alteration, addition, deletion or other amendment of these rules shall be notified to each member within two weeks of the change being approved.
Breeding Programme for Galway Sheep
26. It is intended to operate the breeding programme within the territory of Ireland
27. Aims are to:
i. Preserve the Galway sheep breed and maintain the breed characteristics.
ii. Endeavour to maintain and increase the number of purebred flocks of Galway Sheep so that a sufficiently large population of Galway Sheep are involved in the breeding programme to ensure preservation of the breed and conservation of genetic diversity.
iii. Minimise any increase in inbreeding level through breeder awareness of current ancestry relationships.
29. Permanent animal identification shall be in accordance with Rule 19.
30. Flock-book services will be sourced from Sheep Ireland, Highfield House, Shinagh, Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland, and include:
i. The maintenance of a database containing the Galway Flock-book, including all lambing details.
ii. Printing of pedigree certificates and information required for sales catalogues.
iii. Maintaining flock inventories.
iv. Provision of online inbreeding checker.
31. The following records must be entered onto the Sheep Ireland database by members of the Association each year, by the date specified, using the screens provided on the Sheep Ireland website:
i. Individual Lambing Details showing ewe identity, the identity of the sire of the lambs, number of lambs born alive and the number born dead, lambing date, and the individual number assigned to each live lamb – by 30 April (the Association reserves the right to register lambs born after 30 April).
ii. List of male and female Lambs for registration in the Flock-book – by 31 July.
iii. The Association reserves the right to require breeders to submit a Mating List at the start of each breeding season.