USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced that the agency is revising the live animal specification used for all Angus certified programs to reflect evolving cattle genetics and marketing.
Proposed to take effect July 1, the revised specifications, for phenotypic evaluations, require that cattle have a main body that is solid black with no color behind the shoulder, above the flanks, or breaking the midline behind the shoulder (excluding the tail.)
The current requirements (Schedule GLA) have it that cattle must be predominantly (51 percent) black, along with other exclusionary criteria.
“The existing Schedule GLA has served the industry well, but as cattle genetics change over time, opportunities for updates should be considered that better reflect the current populations and marketplace,” AMS officials said.
The goal of the new requirements is to provide more objective phenotypic criteria for identifying eligible cattle. The revisions also reflect ownership by the American Angus Association, not AMS.
The agency said it is making the changes in response to a request from beef industry stakeholders.