Dormer Breeders' Society

of South Africa History

The need developed to form a Dormer Breeders’ Society to manage and control the breeding of Dormers which were spread over large parts of South Africa. A founding meeting to discuss the matter was held at Elsenburg on October 19, 1965. On that Tuesday night, 19 Dormer breeders and interested persons assembled to discuss the establishment of a Dormer Sheep Breeders’ Society. At this meeting Prof TC Swart officiated as Chairman and Mr GD Viljoen as secretary.

A proposal by Mr Boy van der Merwe that a Dormer Sheep Breeders Society of SA be formed, was carried unanimously. The purpose of the Society was to protect the interests of the breeders, to promote the breed and to affiliate with the SA Stud Book Association.

An attempt to register the Dormer as a breed was made during 1967. However many setbacks and problems were encountered with the registration of the Dormer. Towards 1970 a measure of progress was achieved when on April 17, 1970 the Dormer was acknowledged by the S A Stud Book Association as a developing sheep breed.

Further discussions in connection with the registration of the Dormer were held on August 5, 1970 between members of the Dormer Sheep Breeders’ Society (DC Lourens, WJ Louw and IL Ferreira) and delegates from S A Stud Book Association.

At a meeting of the Dormer Sheep Breeders Society held on October 13, 1970, Mr JP du Plessis provided information related to the requisites for registration of animals with the S A Stud Book Association. The meeting resolved that affiliation with SA Stud Book Association would be postponed for another year, but that Elsenburg would continue with registration as an individual member.

At a meeting of the Dormer Sheep Breeders Society held on October 16, 1973, the Society resolved to affiliate with the SA Stud Book Association. During this meeting the General Manager reported that selected Dormers would immediately qualify for the F4 generation provided such breeders could submit to S A Stud Book the certificates together with three generations. Such animals could be fully registered within three generations as the lambs of F6 are eligible for registration. It was decided that Elsenburg could commence with the F1 generation.

Growth of the Society

After affiliation with the SA Stud Book Association the number of members increased rapidly and towards the middle of the eighties and until the end of the eighties the society had its greatest number of members in the history of the breed.
During the early nineties the number of animals and breeders dropped drastically as a result of the severe drought and the serious economic problems in the country. Membership is currently at its lowest ever.

Distribution of Breeders

Although the Dormer originated as a result of a need for the production of slaughter lambs in the Western and Southern Cape regions having been identified, the Dormer is today distributed throughout South Africa. A few large flocks are still being run in the Western and Southern Cape, but the majority of Dormer breeders are currently domiciled in the Free State and Gauteng Provinces.