Forestry Commission Scotland is doing its bit to help save rare cattle breeds – by putting the endangered Whitebred Shorthorn cattle to good use in a conservation project.
Bred mainly in the border counties of England and Scotland, there are now only 250 breeding females left, giving these cattle “Critical Status 1” on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust listings.
Stewart Hendry, who looks after the cattle, said: “This breed was already facing tough competition from European breeds and was then badly affected by the last big outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease. “We’ve purchased 10 young purebred Whitebred Shorthorn for the Loch Katrine project and one additional bull for our grazing projects in Lochaber and will look to create a small, select herd of quality animals.
“Grazing them at Loch Katrine is a very effective and natural way to support woodland regeneration but having a herd away from the main nucleus of the breed in the borders areas of Scotland and North England will also be a useful insurance policy against future disease epidemics.”
The main production from Loch Katrine will be first cross Highland/Whitebred Shorthorn heifers of High Health status to help to meet the rising commercial demand for these excellent cattle. The male calves will be used for conservation grazing elsewhere on FCS land.
For more information about the Whitebred Shorthorn, contact The Whitebred Shorthorn Association
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