Quite simply - without registration, you, the buyer have no guarantee that the animal is not a Lowline cross. However, the need for registration goes a bit deeper than that - the future and purity of this heritage breed is dependant upon it and a look at their history tells us why.
Registered Lowlines must be DNA tested to prove that they are direct descendants of the Foundation Herd. This means that each and every animal in a particular pedigree has been DNA verified and therefore proven to be 100% Lowline.
The Foundation Herd is derived from the stock that was procured for the Trangie Research Centre by the NSW DPI. The herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle at Trangie were selected from the best available around the world at the time. This became a closed herd and from this stock, the Lowlines were developed during the trials commencing in 1974 through until 1992.
The closed status of this herd and the subsequent formation of the Australian Lowline Cattle Association resulted in the genetic purity of the Lowlines being maintained.
Preserving the purity and integrity of the Lowline breed has major benefits for today’s breeders. The refusal to allow breeding up to pure bred status has prevented the introduction of undesirable traits and the potential loss of desirable traits. It has also protected the breed from the introduction of heritable genetic defects and or diseases and served to maintain the quality and consistency of the breed.
Once a gene is introduced it is always there. No second chances. A genetic combination cannot be undone.
In light of some issues that other breeds are experiencing with recessive genetic defects, the genetic purity of Lowlines is a valuable asset. To not have to worry about such problems either being in your herd or being introduced to your herd creates peace of mind.
Quite a few breeds are experiencing issues with calving, fertility, breeding longevity, structural soundness, poor carcase traits, frame size and feed efficiency. All these issues directly impact the profit margins of any cattle enterprise.
The Lowline is not plagued by any of these issues. In fact, the Lowline genetics have been used by others to moderate their frame sizes, to decrease their calving problems/losses and to improve their carcase traits.
Registration of the herds is vital for another reason - it guarantees traceability. This creates marketplace confidence which in turn ultimately assists in the promotion and preservation of the breed. Registration also aids the keeping of accurate records regarding the number, sex and age of Lowline cattle in any given year. The requirement for DNA verification ensures that by buying registered stock you are guaranteed to be purchasing the genuine article - the Australian Lowline. Not a crossbred Lowline nor a smaller type Angus.
The Lowline is an Australian heritage breed of beef cattle that has not only proven itself to be commercially viable but ultimately worth preserving for future breeders.
So whilst it may seem like an unnecessary need to purchase registered stock, it is actually the very opposite - both for you as an owner and for the breed as a whole.