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Dexter Cattle Society New Zealand

"Fall in
with a

Pretty as a picture !

"Short on
Long on

    The Dexter Cattle Society New Zealand (formerly known as the Dexter Breeders Association) was formed in 1993 and held its first Annual General Meeting the following year.
    The Society administers the official Herd Book for the registration of Dexter cattle in New Zealand, and produces a quarterly magazine, Dexter Dispatch, for distribution to all members. It also co-ordinates a number of regional interest groups for Dexter owners throughout the country (see Contacts).

Mairire Bally Hoo


Dexter cow and calf

    Although still a minority breed in New Zealand, Dexter cattle are proving increasingly popular on smallholdings and lifestyle blocks.

For more information on the Society, contact the Secretary:
Dexter Cattle Society New Zealand,
92A Takanini-Clevedon Road,
Ardmore, R D 2,
Papakura, AUCKLAND.
Phone: (09) 298 1789   E-mail:

Dexter Cattle in New Zealand

    Dexters were first imported into New Zealand by the Government in 1904. The small purebred herd of two bulls and three cows was kept on a Government Experimental Farm for some years and a number of calves were bred. However there was little interest in the breed at that time, and it was not maintained.
    Dexters were again brought into New Zealand with the importation of semen in 1979 and in the 1980s a serious grading-up programme began. The birth of a purebred Dexter bull, Meadowpark Charles, in 1988, marked the beginning of New Zealand's present Dexter breeding programme.
    Initially, stock was registered in Australia, but after the New Zealand Association was formed a New Zealand Herd Book started.
Dexter heifers at Dunloe Stud (photo by Andrew Miller)     Today the Herd Book reveals that, as at 16th July 2008, 4587 Dexters had been registered in New Zealand, including Grade animals. Genetic diversity has been maintained with the continuing use of overseas semen from several countries. And in recent years a number of "full-blood" animals have been imported, either live or as embryos. "Full-blood" is an informal term used by breeders to describe pure-bred cattle which are not the result of grading up but are derived from original Dexter stock without the introduction of outside genes. It is not officially recognized in the Herd Book where all animals above grade level are described as pure-bred.
    The Dexter Cattle Society of New Zealand is very active with a current membership of nearly 400 – and increasing.
    To join the Society, download a copy of the Membership Form and post (with the appropriate subscription fee as detailed on the form) or contact the officer in charge of Membership. See Contacts for the current co-ordinators of informal area groups scattered throughout the country which meet for Dexter field days and discussions. (You do not have to be a Society member to come along to these meetings – visitors are welcome; this is an excellent way to find out something about the Dexter breed for those contemplating buying.)

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