World Jersey Newsletter. January 1996
In the third quarter issue of the S.A. Jersey in 1995, the history and present status of the Jersey in Zimbabwe is outlined. The first Jerseys arrived in what was then Southern Rhodesia at the turn of the century. They were probably progeny of the first Jerseys imported into South Africa from the Island of Jersey in 1881.
The first bull to be registered in the South African Studbook on behalf of a Rhodesian was Fountain`s Duke of Rhodesia no. 35 in 1908. Registered by C.C. Macarthur (Salisbury, now Harare), this was probably the first bull to be imported from the U.S.A. to Africa. Five Jersey females, also imported from he U.S.A. were registered at the same time.
Over 40 years later, these few animals were joined by two groups of pedigree Jerseys from The U.K. The first consignment arrived for auction in October 1951, a move largely instigated by Mrs. Brigid Newmarch. New herds were founded - Lord Malvern`s Soprano Herd and J. Haarhoff`s Destiny Herd. Then in 1956 Mrs. Peggy Pattullo imported first a Jersey bull and 3 Jersey cows from ENgland, and later a bull from the Island of Jersey.
These arrivals were followed by a great deal of interest in the Jersey breed all over the country. Two clubs were formed - the Mashomaland Jersey Cattle Club and the Matabeleland Jersey Cattle Club, registrations using the South African Studbook. In 1980 the Jersey cattle Society of Zimbabwe was formed after the country gained independence. The two former clubs were dissolved and registrations are now done through the Zimbabwe Herd Book. In 1995 the president of Society was Dave Myerscough.
The current aims of the Society are to foster interest in the Jersey breed, and to keep members informed of national and international news and trends through newsletters, fields days and get togethers. At present there are 29 members of the Society, not all of these active breeders. Some 2.000 Jerseys are registered with the herd book, but there are also many Jerseys in mixed herds or with breeders not interested in registration. The milk recording scheme run by the Zimbabwe Dairy Herd Improvement Association involves some 1.225 Jersey cows.
A.1 was first used on farms in the early 1960s, and genetic input now comes from semen imported mainly from the U.S.A., as well as from Canada.