Murray Grey Breeders Association established in Albury

BREEDERS BEEF: A new Murray Grey Breeders Association has been established in Albury, the breed's traditional home, as an alternative for breeders..

BREEDERS BEEF: A new Murray Grey Breeders Association has been established in Albury, the breed's traditional home, as an alternative for breeders..

PETER Sutherland and Bob Travers don’t want to campaign against the establishment but they don’t want to see the Murray Grey breed disappear.

That fear – and high annual registration costs to be part of the Murrey Grey Beef Cattle Society – led the Border pair to form the Australian Murray Grey Breeders Association.

“It’s been a real tough 10 years, with breeders fighting one another over the direction of the society,” said Mr Sutherland, whose mother Helen was the acknowledged founder of the breed on the family’s property Tholologong in the Upper Murray.

“There’s not many traditional, older breeders left so we felt we’ll come back home, our members can register their cattle for life and we can see the breed continues.”

The Australian Murray Grey Society closed its Albury office in 1996 and moved lock, stock, and barrel to Armidale.

TRADITIONAL APPROACH: Peter Sutherland says cross breeding could see the genetic make-up of Murray Grey cattle disappear completely within just a few generations.

TRADITIONAL APPROACH: Peter Sutherland says cross breeding could see the genetic make-up of Murray Grey cattle disappear completely within just a few generations.

However some breed stalwarts were unhappy with the breed’s direction and the society’s decision to incorporate cross bred cattle on the society’s register.

The society had 1200 members when it relocated to Armidale, it’s membership now sits near 200.

Bob Travers, who runs Moorabinda Murray Grey stud at Howling with his wife Debbie, said it came down to the cost of registering stock.

“We said ‘let’s get back to basics, register our cattle for life and keep the breed going,” Mr Travers said.

“We haven’t gone out on a campaign to steal Murray Grey Society members, we are just putting up an alternative.

“Other groups might call us defectors but we’re not. We’re just sticking up for the breed, and reining costs in.”    

The Tavers paraded the supreme Murray Grey exhibit, Moorabinda Emily F5 (PB) cow, at the recent Royal Melbourne show. 

Mr Travers said a pleasing number of breeders had indicated they would register cattle through the new Albury-based association.

The annual membership fee would be $200 significantly less than the $500 fee at Armidale.

Mr Travers said the new group would be able to register any cattle currently on the Armidale society’s books.

- DAVID EVERIST