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To access Member and Animal Search via the Livestock Registering Foundation, use this quick link below:


The ADMA Agri Show will run from 23 to 25 May 2024 at Art Farm, Pomona, Harare, entry off Harare Drive.

The Inaugural Zimbabwe National Indigenous Breeds Cattle Sale will run concurrently at the same venue.

Click HERE for more info....

RTU Scanning

Deadline to express interest to participate expired on 3 May.

The ZHB office was finalising plans for a scanner to travel from South Africa to provide RTU scanning services to breeders in May. This is how you can see what your live animals look like under their hides....

Why do RTU scanning?


26 JULY 2024 - Viewing 24 - 25 July

BREEDERS: Entries CLOSED on 30 APRIL 2024

Enquiries - email: trace@lit.co.zw

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

1. Entries (simple list of animal idents) had to be submitted by 30th April.

2. Inspection fees $50 for bulls, $25 for heifers

3. All animals must be parentage verified

4. Bulls must:

a. Have Breeding Soundness AND Semen Examination Certificate

b. Be vaccinated against vibriosis.

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


  • Assess the carcass merit of an individual animal whilst still alive, as opposed to the collection of carcass data post-slaughter...
  • RTU scanning results are highly correlated to carcass traits.

Traits measured:

  • Eye-muscle area: Indication of overall muscling (saleable meat yield) of the animal.
  • Rib- and Rump fat: Measures of fat cover which is also an indication of onset of puberty and may be correlated with female fertility.
  • Results included in carcass trait EBVs.
  • Carcass traits are medium to highly heritable, thus easy to select for and improve in your herd.

Costs were evaluated on the basis of breeders' interests to participate. For more information on this and future RTU scanning offers, contact Nyasha at ZHB office on +263 77 412 2660 or email: trace@lit.co.zw

Click HERE to read the recent Agribusiness article about Beef School 2024.

To read the LRF Tech Services MARCH 2024 Newsletter, click here. This is packed with insightful articles, exciting updates, and valuable resources. Stay informed, inspired, and connected. Happy reading!

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

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


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

The Livestock Registering Federation (LRF) Technical Services Newsletter is a biannual publication for members of the LRF in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia. The March 2024 issue of the LRF-TS newsletter is now available and contains a wealth of information on technical issues relating to livestock improvement, as well as news from the LRF's members societies and office.

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

LRF TS Stockfarm mag cover Mar 2024

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

To download the LRF Tech Services Newsletter March 2023 click HERE

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

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

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.
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

Click HERE to download the March 2023 edition of the LRF-Breedplan Magazine
Click HERE to download the latest issue of the ZFU Magazine
Click HERE to download the ZHB Chairman's Newsletter Feb 2023

Click HERE to download the Breed Society Reports Feb 2023

Click HERE to download the ZHB December 2022 Newsletter Click here for details of our Breeder Requirements Courses.
Click HERE for coverage of Beef School 2022 held in late September, with links to all the papers delivered, and the ZHB 2022 Award Winners
We congratulate Dr Mario Beffa on his appointment in December 2022 as
Acting CEO for the Livestock Registering Federation
on a part-time/short-term basis.

Asked about this appointment, Mario had this to say:

"I am looking forward to this new and interesting post which will not only assist me in understanding and serving a segment of the South African beef industry but also place me in a better position to serve the ZHB.  The cattle sectors in SA, Namibia and Zimbabwe have much in common and creating linkages between the various breed societies at home and in SA and Namibia will stimulate the adoption of technologies and enhance the performance evaluations."

To download the Oct 2022 LRF-BREEDPLAN Newsletter, Click 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.

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 file

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



Livestock Registering Federation




Internet Solutions

Internet Solutions is a web based service developed by the
Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI).

It enables breeders to access detailed information instantly, about registered animals, sale and semen catalogues, and to exchange information with their Breed Society and access a suite of BREEDPLAN-related tools and services.
Click here to find out more

Click HERE to access BreedPlan Reports Online

Scroll right down to find country 'ZIM' then select your Breed. Contact the ZHB office if you need your ID and Password. Click Animal Enquiry for your Breed; Click Download Files; Input your Member ID and Password in the appropriate fields (If this is your first time accessing the service you will be asked to go back and create a new password); Once you’ve signed in, you can download reports generated from BreedPlan such as EBVs, Levy Lists.

See also our BREEDS page for more.

HerdMASTER Users - Importing EBVs to your on-farm Software

After downloading the GROUPEBV.DAT file from your society’s database, you can import it to your own HerdMaster database. NB Before making any major changes to your data, prepare a backup! In HerdMaster, go to Utilities>Import>ABRI Imports>EBVS; Select the downloaded GROUPEBV.DAT file and click open; Wait for the import to finish. A report of which EBVs failed to be imported will be generated after the import.

LRF Real-time Ultrasound (RTU) scanning services

See what your live animals look like under their hides!

Email trace@lit.co.zw if interested, indicating number of cattle to be scanned.

Why do RTU scanning? Click here to see a video demo and find out more

Reasons to do RTU:

  • Assess the carcass merit of an individual animal whilst still alive, as opposed to the collection of carcass data post-slaughter;
  • RTU scanning results are highly correlated to carcass traits.

Traits measured:

  • Eye-muscle area: Indication of overall muscling (saleable meat yield) of the animal;
  • Rib- and Rump fat: Measures of fat cover which is also an indication of onset of puberty and may be correlated with female fertility;
  • Intramuscular fat: Indication of meat quality (tenderness, flavour and juiciness);
  • Results included in carcass trait EBVs;
  • Carcass traits are medium to highly heritable, thus easy to select for and improve in
    your herd.
Click HERE to download the Request Form - complete and return to: trace@lit.co.zw

Click HERE for more details from the LRF website.

Costs are based on number of animals, plus travel and accommodation costs
R100 for 10 animals, R80 for 11-50, R70 for 51-100, R60 for over 100 animals

For more information email trace@lit.co.zw. or call ZHB on +263 77 412 2660

To download Livestock Registering Federation (LRF) Technical Services News July 2022 Click here.

Announcement by Dept of Veterinary Services 14 April 2022
The Department of Veterinary Services in Zimbabwe announced on 14 April 2022, the immediate suspension of importation of live cloven-hoofed animals and related products from South Africa, due to several outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease in South Africa. Click HERE for full statement.

Click HERE for latest 2022 Breed Society Reports.

Notice to ZHB Breeders

Some Members are not yet compliant with either the Rules and Regulations of Zimbabwe Herd Book or those of their Breed Societies.

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