(c) Gryph- if you repost this article, please post with a link back to my website.
Please note- there is a difference between registered stock and pedigreed stock. Many rabbitries do not register their stock.
Registering rabbits is not a requirement, but it can be nice to do. It's inexpensive ($6.00/rabbit), although finding a registrar outside of a show can be tricky. Registrars are licensed through ARBA. In order to be registered with ARBA, a rabbit must have a full three-generation pedigree that includes senior weights, varieties (color and pattern), and either name or ear number for all three generations. The rabbit being registered must also be 6 months old regardless of breed, and be tattooed in the left ear. Finally, the rabbit must meet the SOP set out by ARBA and be free of any defects or disqualifiers.
In order to register a rabbit you must be a member in good standing with ARBA and have their ARBA membership card. Then you can take your rabbit to a registrar who has been licensed through ARBA. The registrar will examine the rabbit for any general faults or DQs and weigh the rabbit. If the rabbit meets the requirements then it can be registered. The registrar will make comments on the registration blank about type, color, eyes, ears, bone, balance, fur, etc. After the blank is filled out, the registrar will put a tattoo in the right ear- either the registration number or an “R.” The registration form is then sent in to ARBA and the person registering the rabbit will receive back a certificate of registration. This registration should go with the rabbit if the rabbit is sold, and the new owner should transfer the registration with ARBA.
Registering a rabbit proves that the rabbit meets SOP, is free of disqualifications or general faults, and that the recent ancestors have at least made the minimum weight requirements for the breed. Rabbits must be registered if you wish to receive a grand champion certificate from ARBA (although you don’t need to register your rabbit to show it).
Now, here's something to think about- just because a rabbit meets the SOP does not mean that it is a spectacular rabbit. Keep that in mind and don't purchase a rabbit just because it is registered.
Special Terms for Registration: Red Seal: Denotes that both parents of the rabbit being registered were registered. White Seal: Denotes that both parents, and all four grandparents of the rabbit being registered were registered Blue Seal: Denotes that all three generations of the rabbit being registered were registered Gold Seal: Denotes that all three generations of the rabbit being registered were grand champions