1.         PREAMBLE
1.1       Classification is an appraisal of the conformation of an animal.  It gives a numerical rating of individual animals compared to the breed ideal on a 100 point scale.  It also identifies various traits of each individual animal and recognizes the correlation between correct type, breed standards and conformation.

2.         OBJECTIVES
2.1       The NZDGBA classification progamme is designed to give the herd owner information to improve the quality of their dairy goat herd.

3.         PROCEDURES
3.1       Application:
(a)        Classification is only available to financial members.

(b)        Closing date of application to classify shall be announced annually in the Dairy Goat News.

(c)        Application is to be made on the official form, correctly filled in and signed by the applicant.

(d)        The setting of the fees, dates of classification and the appointment of classifiers shall be determined by Council.  Fees are to be paid as per the notification in the Dairy Goat News.  Council reserves the right to hold back part or all of the Herd Fees if it so determines.

3.2       Eligibility:
(a)        To be eligible, the goat must be registered or recorded with the NZDGBA and bear a legible tattoo that corresponds to that indicated on the registration certificate. 

(b)        Does must have kidded at least once and will be classified unmilked on the day.

(c)        Bucks must be over one year of age.

(d)        The classification programme is available to all in-milk Herd Register, Cross Breed Record and Appendix does and Herd Register bucks over 1 year.  Recorded Grade does will be appraised on request as a service to the owner but in this case the results are not published.

(e)        Owners have the option of classifying their herd by breed.

(f)         Owners may nominate individual goats from their herd regardless of breed or registration status providing that all the other points of eligibility have been met regarding classification.

(g)        Owners may stand down animals under two years of age and animals that hold a current classification score.

(h)        Owners have the option of classifying their senior does or bucks only or their junior does or bucks only.

(i)         Any goat already classified, may upon application be re-classified.  The new final score and any break down of points will replace the previous score only if the new final score is equal to or higher than the previous score.

3.3       Method:
(a)        The goats will be penned on arrival of the classifiers.  Dates of classification will be notified as soon as possible after the closing date.

(b)        The classifiers will identify the animal by reading its earmarks or microchip before commencing the classification  with the classification being done to  unnamed animals.

(c)        Tattoos or microchip will be checked.  They must be correctly listed on the classification form for the classifiers.

(d)        Evidence of registration or recording are to be available at the place of classification if required.  Animals bought since classification applications will be classified if papers are available.  Any sick of disabled goats may be stood down only at the discretion of the classifiers and the owner.

(e)        The classifiers will complete the Herd Classification Sheet for each owner and leave the duplicate with the owner provided all fees are paid.

(f)         The original goes to the Registrar for entering on a goats’ official records.  A printed record will be sent to the owner.

(g)        Discussion of classification ratings between classifiers and people other than the owners is not allowed.

(h)        A list of official classifications will be printed in the Herd Book each year.

(i)         Official publication of classification scores shall be by the NZDGBA.

4.         OTHER
4.1       Where a goat to be classified had been bred or owned by a classifier that animal will be classified by the two classifiers, one being independent to the breeding and/or ownership of the animal.

4.2       It is recommended that no male progeny is registered or recorded from does classifying below 80.

4.3       Junior Classification is for does or bucks under 4 years of age.  Junior classification shall lapse when the doe or buck attains the age of four years unless the doe or buck dies before reaching that age and the death has been advised.

4.4       Senior classification is for does or bucks 4 years and over.

4.5       Excellent classification is given to does or bucks over 6 years of age obtaining over 90 points.
Excellent 1 classification is given to does or bucks over 8 years of age obtaining over 90 points.
Excellent 2 classification is given to does or bucks over 10 years of age obtaining over 90 points.
Excellent 3 classification is given to does to bucks over 12 years of age obtaining over 90 points.

4.6       No animal shall be eligible for re-classification with 6 months.

4.7       When a goat reaches four years of age their junior classification lapses and they need to be classified again for senior classification.

4.8       Council reserves the right not to tour an area where the numbers are not economically viable.  Members in such situations should apply as alternative arrangements may be viable.

4.9       Every endeavour shall be made to complete classification before the end of February each year.

5.         ADVERTISING
5.1       When using classification scores in advertising owners must use the goats current classification score.

5.2       The age of the animal when classified shall be published along with the score information.

5.3       The score information shall contain the overall score and any category codes in a format determined by Council.

5.4       The name of the classifiers will not be mentioned in the advertising of classification scores.

6.1       Qualifications   
The Trainee must have an understanding of the five dairy breeds and partake in the training programme with the aim of progressing from being a Writer to becoming a Senior Classifier.

6.2       Writer/Trainee Classifier
(1)        Act as the “Writer” for Senior Classifiers assessing:
             (a)        a minimum of 8 herds, and
             (b)        all five dairy breeds

(2)        Be responsible for writing the scores and calculating the results of the herds assessed by the Classifiers for forwarding to the Registrar for publication in the NZDGBA Herd Book for the succeeding year.

(3)        During this period, the Writer must take an active learning role through which it is expected that they will develop their knowledge and skills to be considered a Trainee Classifier by the Senior Classifiers.

(4)        After demonstrating their knowledge and skills through practical application to the satisfaction of at least two Senior Classifiers, written recommendations from two Senior Classifiers to the NZDGBA Council will be required to promote the Trainee Classifier to the level of Junior Classifier.

6.3       Junior Classifier

(1)       Take an active role in the classification of the goats with 2 senior classifiers covering:
            (a)       a minimum of 8 herds, and
            (b)       all five dairy breeds.

(2)       During this period the Junior Classifier must take an active, hands-on leading role with different Senior Classifiers at different locations to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

(3)       After this requirement has been met to the satisfaction of the Senior Classifiers, written recommendations from two senior classifiers to the NZDGBA Council to be promoted to a Senior Classifier.       

Senior Classifier

On confirmation of the qualification of becoming a Senior Classifier, the training has been completed and the Classifier will be promoted to the team of Senior Classifiers.

7.1       In the event of any question arising as to the administration, operation or interpretation of the policies and procedures, the NZDGBA Council shall consider the matter and its decision shall be final.