The agency said updates should reflect current cattle populations.
WASHINGTON – Changes to the live animal specification used for all Angus certified programs is expected to go into force on July 1, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture reported. AMS currently is revising the specification at the request of beef industry stakeholders.

The revised specification aims to provide more objective criteria for identifying cattle eligible for the certification. AMS also is revising the specification to reflect ownership by the American Angus Association.

“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 said in statement announcing the revision.

To meet appearance requirements, cattle hides must be 51 percent black along with other exclusionary criteria. The proposed revision states that cattle eligible for Angus certification based on appearance, or phenotype, “…will have a main body that must be solid black, with no other color behind the shoulders, above the flanks, or breaking the midline behind the shoulders, excluding the tail.”

Beef industry stakeholders with questions related to the proposed changes can contact Bucky Gwartney DVM, via e-mail at or by phone at (202) 720-1424.