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To access Member and Animal Search via the Livestock Registering Foundation:
use this quick link below:
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To access the NEW Goat Breeders Association of Zimbabwe (GBAZ) web page, click logo at right:

The Inaugural Zimbabwe National Indigenous Breeds Cattle Sale which ran concurrently with the ADMA Agrishow was a great success!

Click HERE to visit our News Page, read Julie Havercroft's write-up of the Sale, and enjoy some photos of the event....

Click HERE for to download the recent Agribusiness article about the upcoming Beef School 2024.


Viewing 24 - 25 July

Enquiries - email: trace@lit.co.zw

CLICK HERE for more info and download links for NBS 2024 documentation.



Don't miss this FREE LRF Online Course on 17 July!

To register, click flyer below or HERE


This session will be presented by the knowledgeable Catriona Millen from ABRI. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and understand more about Single-Step Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and their applications in your breeding programmes.

Don't miss out! BEEF SCHOOL 2024 REGISTRATION is OPEN and in progress. Download the programme HERE


Pedigree livestock - also known as stud animals - are the seed stock of the livestock industry and is the basis of stud breeding. The Zimbabwe Herd Book was established by an Act of Parliament in 1980 to oversee the registration of pedigree livestock. Stud breeding involves the controlled mating of livestock and detailed birth notifications of progeny with parents are recorded with the Herd Book. In addition, stud breeders record the fertility, survival and growth performance.

Livestock production depends on three pillars: genetics, health and husbandry. Stud Breeding - genetics - is the cornerstone of commercial livestock production. A strong commercial industry is dependent on a healthy and vibrant stud industry to offer stud/breeding stock that meet requirements in a range of production environments and market scenarios. At its annual National Sales, all animals on offer have undergone veterinary examination and inspection so that the livestock industry is offered a wide range of top quality genetics.

Stud breeding is a long-term passion where breeders strive to breed the ‘best’ animal. Breeders apply modern breeding technologies to carefully select animals to be parents of the next generation and in so doing, improve the genetic merit of future generations. Breeders also select parent material from outside the country in the form of live imports, semen and embryos. Stud breeding also requires the meticulous recording of parentage (pedigree) as well as specific performance data that measures reproduction, survival and growth.

These performance figures, together with the parentage information, are used to select the best animals to be parents of the next generation. Genetic improvement is therefore passed on from generation to generation and from the stud herd to the commercial herd.

ZHB has implemented BreedPlan, the leading performance evaluation software from Australia. The industry can now avail itself of the latest technologies that provide both breeders and commercial producers with accurate genetic assessment of animals that are selected for breeding purposes.

A wide range of genetic material is also available for commercial producers who want to select the best breeds and breed combinations to meet their particular production environments. It is more economical to select the right breed for a particular production environment than adapt the environment to meet the requirements of the breed.

Did you miss this FREE course??

Then FOLLOW THIS LINK and you can still catch the recording! Take full advantage of this, to enhance your understanding of data quality in genetic improvement - at your own pace.

LRF online course 13 march

Links to useful documents and templates for ZHB Members:

The ZHB Members Guide

ZHB DNA Sample Card

Summary of ZHB Breeders Requirements

ZHB Birth Notifications Excel template

ZHB Breeder Requirements Course Notes 2022 PowerPoint file

BREEDPLAN BreedCodes ZHB Template

ZHB Mating List and Days to Calving Excel template file

ZHB Weights and Cancellations Excel template file

Useful website links for ZHB Members:

Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI)



Livestock Registering Federation



Breed Associations and Societies - Constitutions

To ensure alignment of breed societies constitutions, follow these links for the:

Registration of Pedigree Farm
Livestock Act

The ZHB Constitution

The ZHB Rules and Regulations

The ZHB Office will gladly assist with the provision of a boardroom and facilitate setting up of online meetings via Google Meets. Contact the office for further information and clarification: Tel: 024 - 2756 600 / 2777 391 / 2772 915 / 0774 122 660 - or email: zhb-sec@lit.co.zw

To read the ZHB Council Meeting Brief, January 2024, click here

To read the ZHB Breeders' Reports January 2024, click here

To read the LRF February 2024 Newsletter, click here

Jan 2024: Anthrax outbreak hits Zimbabwe, Zambia; disease traced to hippos: Click here for more....

The Livestock Registering Federation (LRF) Technical Services Newsletter is a biannual publication for members of the LRF in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia. This is packed with insightful articles, exciting updates, and valuable resources. Stay informed, inspired, and connected. Enjoy the March 2024 issue of LRF-TS newsletter with its wealth of information on technical issues relating to livestock improvement, and news from LRF's member societies and office.

Click here or magazine cover below right, to read the March 2024 Issue:

Our own Dr Mario Beffa was recently interviewed by Agribusiness.
You will really enjoy watching this informative interview!


CFU Farming Oscar goes to our own Dr Mario Beffa!

We arevery proud to announce that Dr Mario Beffa was on 13 November awarded the 2023 Commercial Farmers Union Farming Oscar.

Click HERE for full story and pictures

LRF TS Stockfarm mag cover Mar 2024

HerdMASTER 5 Announcement from the Agricultural Business Research Insitute (ABRI) January 2024

HerdMASTER 4 has many known issues. For months ABRI has been working with dedicated and loyal customers to keep it alive while we investigate the future of HerdMASTER. ABRI is pleased to announce that it will continue to offer the HerdMASTER product, starting with an increased investment and plan for HerdMASTER 5.

HerdMASTER 5 will be focused on fixing the core issues of HerdMASTER 4. Customers can expect:

  • A re-architected and updated central sync
  • Significant updates to underlying code and databases, allowing it to run on modern computers
  • Slightly refreshed user interface

Importantly, ABRI will not be changing any functionality or features with the HerdMASTER 5 release. The aim is to deliver HerdMASTER 5 in Q1 2024 (Feb-Mar).

The Future

HerdMASTER 5 is a fix. ABRI also plans major improvements. Once released, plans for a next version will commence immediately, to address long term problems with on-farm software, and aim to achieve:

  • Seamless mobile and tablet applications
  • Connectivity with on-farm devices
  • Integration with breed registry, BREEDPLAN and other services

To get this right ABRI will reach out to current and past HerdMASTER users to understand how best to improve HerdMASTER.

Farewell to Keith Swales - Rest in Peace

It is with great sadness that ZHB informs you of the passing of Keith Swales in Cape Town in January 2024.

From his teaching days at Guineafowl and Milton to his farming days in Darwendale, Keith has touched the lives of many. He leaves a legacy from the classroom across the sports fields, with the Zimbabwe Tobacco Seed Association and Santa Gertrudis Society of Zimbabwe, to mention but a few. We will miss you Keith, gone but never forgotten. Condolences to his family and friends.

In May 2019 Keith Swales stepped down after serving as Chairman of the Zimbabwe Herd Book for 17 years, from 2002 to 2019, guiding the stud industry through some difficult times. Keith was given a unanimous vote of thanks for his excellent guidance and steadfast leadership during the difficult period of land reform and subsequent economic changes. ZHB still has relevance post-land reform and is an important reference point for the pedigree industry.

Keith noted that he had been on the Council since 1988 and reflected on several momentous occasions such as guiding the Herd Book through its lowest ebb, and the installation of both StudMaster and MBREED and then BREEDPLAN®, the hosting of Beef Schools and was a driving force in the continued successes of the annual National Breed Sales.

ZHB Beef School 2023

Held in September 2023, Beef School was fully subscribed, and very informative and successful. Read more about it and

see details of the 2023 ZHB Awards HERE

Click HERE to visit our Beef School 2023 Photo Gallery.

Click HERE for links to the papers delivered at Beef School 2023

Invitation to be an 'Early Adopter' of the new Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) software

- as it is being developed -

The Livestock Registering Federation(LRF) encourages Societies to nominate at least one staff member and one breeder to take part the 'Early Adopter Programme' to test the new ABRI software - as it is being developed.

Simply send the LRF Office a list of all staff and breeders who would like to form part of the testing team: email office@lrf.co.za

The video from LRF's 6th Online Course on "Genomics: Why the fuss?" by Prof. Errol Cason is now available on YouTube!

Click HERE to watch it

to dive into the fascinating world of genetics and gain valuable insights.

Zimbabwe Beef Producer’s Society (ZBPS) Incoming Zimbabwe Beef Producer’s Society Council:

Our Inaugural Meeting took place on 12 May 2023. Guest Speaker was Cover Crop Specialist Abel Nell, from Barenbrug, South Africa.

Following last year’s Beef School and supported by ZHB, an Interim Committee was established. The BPS is a collective of beef producers and farmers who own or are interested in owning cattle. The Society is inclusive, representing small and large-scale producers as well as stud breeders. All members of Herd Book are automatically members of the Society. Its primary objective is to provide a voice for the beef sector.

Click here for the adopted Constitution.

Follow the links below to access Abel Nell's presentation, the paper and slides delivered by Jaco Erasmus with the relevant Excel spreadsheets, and minutes of the inaugural meeting.

Abel Nell - Quality Feed from Pastures

Jaco Erasmus PowerPoint slides

Jaco Erasmus document explaining workings of his Excel spreadsheets

Jaco Erasmus Excel MLSR demo to capture monthly livestock returns

Jaco Erasmus Excel GM Analysis Template to summarise enterprise productivity

Zim Beef Producers Society Inaugural Meeting Minutes

Statistics derived from standardised livestock returns can be a useful starting point for comparison either between years for a producer or between producers. Average Animal Unit figures from here can be used to specify financial figures on a per animal unit basis for further analysis, budgeting and modelling.

Ultimately, recorded financial figures can be expressed on a per animal unit basis to give a Gross Margin per Animal Unit which is a useful comparison measure. 

The analyses are dependent on members completing the MLSR returns on a monthly basis. Ideally, historic figures will also be entered for January to June. The GM Analysis Template can be completed on an annual basis. However it is useful for monthly figures also to be kept.

Members are encouraged to share summary of data from the GM Analysis Template ($ per Avg. AU and percentage of Avg; i.e. excludes submission of sensitive personal data) with the Society as central database, to enable calculations and national averages. These will be useful benchmark values for members to compare their production.

Mash Central:
Mash East:
Mash West:
Mat North:
Mat South:
Anne Cooke and Doug Bruce
Stu Tippett
Shingai Jaravaza and Dave Wakefield
Charles Mufudze
Lianne Herbst
Godard Tafirei
Troy Maidwell
Ranga Huruba
George Chiunda and Fred Chimhenga
Ncebisi Bruce Ndlovu
Ex Officio:
Andrew Chamisa:
Brian Beattie:
Jaco Erasmus:
Kevin Higgins:
Blessing Ndoro:
Mario Beffa:
Technical Services
A Fond Farewell to 'Oom Japie'

Legendary Vet, Dr Japie Jackson, still working in his 90s, died peacefully in his sleep on 25 April 2023, aged 92.

In Carmen Stubbs' words:

Dr J. J. Jackson, fondly known as 'Oom Japie', freely gave his excellent advice to all. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.

Cattle farmers will continue to quote him for many more years. His skills, knowledge and shared reasoning, will remain with us always. His praises of our indigenous Mashona Cattle, our efficient small cow, will always be remembered.

Memories of his enthusiasm and friendship will be cherished forever.
Notice to ZHB Breeders

Are you, as a Member, compliant, with the Rules and Regulations of Zimbabwe Herd Book and of your Breed Society?

To strengthen the integrity of ZHB, its Breed Societies and database, members are cordially requested to ensure their records are up-to-date at ZHB, all outstanding queries have been attended to and resolved, and all annual levies have been remitted.

Contact ZHB at trace@lit.co.zw or your Breed Society or fellow breeders for further clarification and assistance.

You can download the ZHB Members Guide, ZHB Breeder Requirements documents and templates using the links, above left on this page.

Setting Up Calving Year in BreedPlan

In the instance where a breeder has not defined a ‘Calving Year’ in BreedPlan, animals are treated as distinct groups within a Calendar Year, for example: 2022 born calves, and ident of all calves starts with year of birth, i.e. ‘22’. This typically applies to year-round calving. For breeders with a calving season that extends over the calendar year, for example, calving from September to March, provision can be made in BreedPlan to identify these animals as being in the same calving contemporary group. This avoids splitting the contemporary group in genetic analyses according to calendar year.

To cater for this, we firstly require you to confirm your Calving Year. For example, with a calving season extending from September to March, then a Calving Year can be defined as April to March. Then all calves born from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023 will be given the same Year of Birth in their Ident, that is 21-NNNNHDL.

To advise ZHB of your Calving Year so we can make necessary edits to BreedPlan to cater for your calving seasons, email trace@lit.co.zw