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The Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society champions the interests of the Beef Shorthorn breed and those who farm it.

The Society’s main activity is maintaining an accurate herdbook for the Beef Shorthorn population in the UK. It also promotes the breed, manages the breed’s technical development and supports the interests of its members. The Society is a membership organisation and a registered charity.

Our History

In 1822 George Coates published the first Herd Book containing 710 bulls and 850 cows. The Coates’ Herd Book was the first pedigree herd book for cattle in the world, which the Shorthorn Society of Great Britain and Ireland acquired the rights to after the formation of the Society, in 1875.   

Specialisation for beef and milk within the breed led to the beef breeders starting their own section of the herd book in 1958, with Beef Shorthorns being developed as a separate breed since then. Based in Stoneleigh Park, the Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society represents members throughout the UK.

The Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society has collaborated with Morrisons since 2010, and the first ever supermarket Beef Shorthorn Beef brand was launched in 2016. Increasing market demand has driven rapid growth of the breed in recent years, from 241 herds registering pedigree offspring in 2005 to around 600 herds today. The Society celebrated its bicentenary in 2022, marking 200 years of the Coates’ Herd Book.

Our Future

The Society is committed to preserving and improving the Beef Shorthorn breed’s genetic integrity, while encouraging responsible breeding, husbandry, and management practices. By promoting and nurturing the breed’s traditional characteristics, the Beef Shorthorn is soaring in popularity as the native breed of choice among beef producers, consumers, and the wider beef industry.

By fostering collaboration among breeders, farmers, and industry stakeholders, the Society will continue to drive strong market demand and develop supply chain partnerships to secure Beef Shorthorn’s position as a leading native beef breed.

Supporting and encouraging the next generation of Beef Shorthorn farmers is a priority, and initiatives such as Development Days and Board Apprenticeships will ensure the Society and the Beef Shorthorn breed will be in safe hands for the next 200 years.