The Unique Value of the Pedigree Certificate 

On the registration of an animal, you will be issued with a registered pedigree certificate known as a Zootechnical Certificate (ZC).  

This pedigree certificate provides a breeder with an official ancestry document. This means that each animal can be traced back three generations at a single glance. This information is validated by IHFA and DAFM rules. From this verified data a farmer can make informed choices with his or her breeding decisions, breeding the right kind of stock to best suit his or her system. 

  • Validated Data 
  • Traceability 
  • Assurance  
  • Capturing Repeatability 
  • Cow Family Recognition 
  • Adding Value to the Bottom Line  

Understanding a Pedigree Certificate (Zootechnical Certificate – ZC) 

Each herdbook registered animal receives an original and individual registered pedigree certificate of his/her ancestry, extending back three generations. 

 This certificate captures a multitude of information on the animal including registration status, breed fraction percentage, predicted genetic merit, the recorded performance of paternal and maternal lines and a genetic merit assessment extract from the database. This certificate has a column to capture IHFA classification score of conformation, to be officially recorded, signed and stamped at each inspection by the IHFA classifier only. This is a double-sided document, one side of which contains information in the format required for exporting animals across EU member states and serves an official, recognised export document. 

IHFA Pedigree Certificate (Zootechnical Certificate - ZC)
IHFA Pedigree Certificate (Zootechnical Certificate - ZC)

How to Register 

Registering Online  

It is possible to register your animals online with the Department of Agriculture. Go to the website and follow the stages laid out in this guide  It is also possible to register your animals through other commercial farm packages and apps. 

You can also continue registering through Animal Events

Registration Fees can be found here


Herdbook Registration Rules  

Full parentage is mandatory for all ET calves.  

It is mandatory that all pedigree registered males are to be genomically tested.  


It is mandatory that all males for registration are genotyped / sire and dam verified once the animal is named (Rule 7 h (iv) of the herdbook rules). This process in the past was carried out through DNA profile using microsatellites. This has been replaced using genomics, which relies on matching SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism frequency). Females are registered once the female is named by the breeder. This is subject to spot checks, 1 in 300 registrations. The registration process is automated (Rule 7 h (v)). All male and female ET calves must be FULLY PARENTAGE VERIFIED either through genomics or DNA profile using microsatellites (Rule 7 h (v) of the herdbook rules). Terms & Conditions of acceptance of a registration by the IHFA herdbook is based on the information supplied. 

Checking for Errors in Registrations 

During the registration process an error can occur. The consequence of this registration error is that a certificate fails to issue and the animal is diverted into XSR category. There are a number of possible reasons for this. What they are and how you can avoid them or correct them is detailed in this guide