Becoming a Stud member
The principal membership type of the Australian White Sheep Breeders’ Association is stud membership, where an approved member registers an Australian White sheep flock with the purpose of developing the breed through selective practices. Stud-quality animals with pedigree may be registered and transferred by AWSBA stud members.
Only current AWSBA stud members can have Australian White sheep registered and transferred in the AWSBA flock register. Please note that the flock register allows for the recording of transfers from AWSBA stud members to non members– this is how non members form their foundation flock as the basis for their membership application.
The Association also has an Associate Member grade that is for people who have an interest in the breed but are not operating as stud members (for instance; sheep industry product suppliers, commercial sheep breeders who do not choose to pursue stud membership). Associate Members may not; register or transfer sheep in the AWSBA flock book, apply to be an AWSBA Director, or vote at AWSBA meetings. The Associate Member list is not set out or promoted in AWSBA publications or on the website.
Stud membership requirements
Applicants for stud membership are required to include details of a foundation flock with the application. At minimum, this flock will comprise;
- An AWSBA registered stud ram (or the genetics of a registered AWSBA stud ram) that has been transferred to the applicant, and
- A stud-quality ewe that has bred by an AWSBA member, and transferred to the applicant.
In the circumstance that an application is presented with unregistered and/or non-transferred sheep, even if the application is accepted by the Board of Directors, the sheep still must be registered and/or transferred. Acceptance of the membership application does not in itself mean that the sheep have been entered into the Flock Register as registers and/or transferred.
Please note that AWSBA members also sell flock (non-stud) animals – if applying for membership, the applicant should ensure that the animals put forward as their foundation flock are indeed presented by the AWSBA member that the sheep were sourced from as stud-quality animals.
Note: Ewe age
It is recommended that ewes presented as forming the applicant’s foundation flock should not be more than two years of age. Applicants presenting ewes that are two or more years of age may be required to back-pay one or more years of membership as decided by the Board of Directors as a condition of membership.
In addition to presenting a correctly formed foundation flock, applicants are to; pay the membership fees with the submission of the application, nominate a preferred and alternative prefix (proposed stud name), and sign the application. The nominated prefix shall not be similar to or the same as an existing registered flock prefix, be more than two words, more than 15 letters, or include hyphens or initials. The Board of Directors may consider an exemption if requested to these requirements.
Applicants under 18 years of age require a ‘release for liability’ from a parent or guardian.
A properly submitted application will be acknowledged by the AWSBA Secretary within 28 days. The Board considers the eligibility of applications at its meetings. Should an application be rejected, the Association is not required to provide an explanation for the decision. Applicants whose submissions are rejected will be advised within 28 days of the Board’s decision.
Ongoing requirements of stud members
Stud members are required to submit annual returns as per the form supplied by the Association.
Stud members are required to pay annual membership fees. Members who fail to renew their membership within the specified timeframe may be expelled from the Association. At the Board's discretion members may be permitted to retain their membership if they had earlier failed to renew in the required timeframe, but will be required to back-pay any outstanding renewals.
Members are to comply with the Constitution and the Bylaws of the Association. Failure to do so may lead to membership termination.
Registering and transferring animals
The Secretary will provide members with forms used to register and transfer Australian White sheep so that these entries can be recorded in the AWSBA flock book.
In order for a ram to be registered, the AWSBA stud member must provide details of the ram’s AWSBA registered sire, the birth flock and tag number of the dam as bred by an AWSBA stud member if not the registration details of the dam, and details of the AWSBA registered sire of the dam.
Ewe registration is optional, however to register a ewe in the AWSBA flock book the AWSBA stud member must provide details of the ewe’s AWSBA registered sire, the birth flock and tag number of the dam as bred by an AWSBA stud member if not the registration details of the dam, and details of the AWSBA registered sire of the dam.
Fees for registrations and transfers are typically paid for by the breeder and the vendor of the animals respectively. Registrations and transfers are a one-off fee – not paid annually. Animals may be transferred in their lifetime to several owners, and each time are to pay a transfer fee. Animals may be both registered and transferred to a new owner at the same time.
Reminder: Animals that are to be recorded in the AWSBA flock book must be bred by an AWSBA stud member. Please ensure that if acquiring sheep to be used for stud purposes, that the sheep are registerable – that they are indeed stud-quality, and not commercial-quality sheep, and if to be registered as individual animals that they have pedigree (registered sire, tagged or registered dam, registered sire of dam).
Six digit code
For the purposes of recording individual sheep, the format used is the breeder’s prefix followed by a six-digit number (e.g. ‘Londondale-190324’). The first two digits indicate the birth year of the animal (that is, sheep from a 2019 drop will be ‘19’) and the remaining four digits will be from the breeder’s own eartag number, with any missing digits replaced by a zero (that is, tag ‘324’ will be recorded as ‘0324’).
Rams or ewes that are registered as individual animals in the AWSBA’s flock register will be assigned an ‘AW’ number (such as; ‘AW008347’).
Should an application for stud membership be supported by the Board of Directors, the applicant will be contacted by the Secretary, have the stud prefix confirmed, and assigned a Flock Code from the approved AWSBA stud register. The stud directory is updated from time-to-time and the new flock will be added at the next available update. Copies of forms used by members will also be provided to the successful applicant.
Please note that the details in this guide are to assist prospective membership applicants, however should not be relied upon as a substitute for the Association’s Constitution or Bylaws.