2013-05-08   facebook twitter rss
Dairy Shorthorn Joins the RBST Critical Watchlist

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is celebrating its 40th year in 2013 and the Dairy Shorthorn, one of the United Kingdom’s most iconic cattle breeds, is now on the Watchlist in the Critical category (meaning there are fewer than 150 registered breeding females in the UK).

During the 1930’s and 1940’s, this breed was so numerous that 2 out of every 3 cows in the UK were either a Shorthorn or a Shorthorn cross. Since then, fashion, intensification and specialization has been against the breed and they have become extremely rare.

Traditional Dairy Shorthorn Yearlings

Traditional Dairy Shorthorn Yearlings newly arrived at Bicton College

This Original Population, bred pure from before 1958, (the herd book was split in that year to have Dairy and a Beef section) is now moving forward.

RBST has identified all 100% pure Dairy Shorthorn animals and so far registrations are up by 50% in 2013 (12 compared to 6 in 2012).

RBST are also very pleased to be able to place five registered females at Bicton College (the UK’s first RBST College). The two yearling heifers and three heifer calves see the start of the Bicton College’s herd of Original Population Dairy Shorthorns. The three heifer calves are great examples of both the breed and in colour; one is Red, one is Roan and one is White, thus displaying the whole range of the breed’s colours.

RBST was able to source these animals from Praze in Cornwall where their breeder, Larry Trewern, has a small herd of Shorthorns. These animals’ parents were bred on his neighbour’s farm, owned by Keith Care. Keith has the only completely pure Original Population Dairy Shorthorn herd in the country and has bred this magnificent breed for over 30 years.

Traditional Dairy Shorthorn calves

Traditional Dairy Shorthorn calves just arrived at Bicton

RBST is grateful to men like Keith and Larry who have helped to maintain this breed for so many years, fighting against the tide.


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