In March 2015 the Association implemented a revised set of By-Laws. This new document is the result of months of concerted effort by the Board and the Membership to address long standing issues with the existing regulatory documents. There are a number of significant revisions to the registration and up grading guidelines that were considered by the Board to be critical tools in expanding the very narrow existing genetic base of the American Flock and addressing the current shortage of UK semen. Of specific concern to the Board was the fact that the current breeding population of animals is founded in just 37 foundation ewes and the 7 import rams, three of whom are directly related.
It is the ATSA's goal to provide additional resources and flexibility to breeders to allow them to make substantial improvements in their flocks. The decision to set the minimum blood percentage at 92%, rather than the traditional 96% was because of the excessively limited number of rams that would meet this bar, and the representation of only 3 of the 7 available UK sire lines. The ATSA believes that a balance should exist between genotype and phenotype and it is critical to evaluate type and performance in conjunction with genetics.
The establishment of the Foundation registry, in conjunction with the recorded category are intended to provide breeders with expanded breeding tools not previously available. These tools allow breeders to select matings on the combined basis of genotype and phenotype, allowing breeders to use otherwise excellent specimens that would not have met a specific restriction under the old guidelines. While this may have the short term effect of expanding the foundation and low percentage populations, it is believed that through careful selection, this approach will ultimately lead to faster improvement of the overall type, performace and longevity of the American Teeswater Sheep.
In addition to the significant updates in the registration and breed up guidelines, additional modifications allowing transactions by non-members, modifying membership requirements and addressing existing procedureal issues have been undertaken. The Board is excited to move forward under these new By-Laws and believe that they represent progressive and sweeping change that will only benefit the Association and the sheep.
Dedicated to the preservation and protection of the American Teeswater Sheep - 2007 all rights reserved.