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Stackyard News Oct 06

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    British Charolais makes breed debut in Romania

British Charolais are to provide the foundation for the Charolais herdbook to be established in Romania. The country’s inaugural importation of Charolais cattle is to be made within the next few days with a bull and heifer from Mike and Margaret Atkinson’s Mowbraypark herd, based at Kirkby Malzeard, Ripon, North Yorkshire. The pair will be followed shortly by a shipment of 100 heifers, sourced from Charolais herds throughout Britain, to form the country’s first pedigree herd.

Mike and Margaret Atkinson with Mowbraypark Acclaim

Mike and Margaret Atkinson with Mowbraypark Acclaim

“The Romanians have identified the Charolais breed and its superior performance potential and quiet temperament to improve their native herd of cross bred suckler cattle, and our modern British Charolais were preferred to establish the herdbook simply because of their scale, muscling and length,” explains Mr Atkinson.  

The deal was brokered with Romanian businessman, Michael Mirran who owns a10 square mile farm located in Alba, by Northern Agriculture, a genetics and consultancy company based in East Yorkshire and supported by Yorkshire Forward, a joint Defra, MLC, EBLEX funded regional initiative. Since then, a joint venture has been established between the two parties to enhance Romania’s beef and sheep sector with UK genetics and meat marketing consultancy.

Mr Mirran travelled to Yorkshire earlier this year on a Charolais fact finding mission and was  particularly impressed by Mowbraypark Acclaim. “He is an easy fleshed, well muscled bull, and his accompanying Estimated Breeding Value is within the breed’s top 1% with a Beef Value of CH37,” Mr Atkinson explained.

The 18 month old youngster is by the couple’s senior herd sire, Mowbraypark Paramount whose sons include the 24,000gns Mowbraypark Torpedo and Mowbraypark Umpire at 17,000gns. On arrival to Romania, plans are for Acclaim to stand and his semen to be distributed, via a new European funded scheme to beef farmers, to enable help them to start improving their commercial herds. Mr Mirran also chose to take home as an example of the breed, the 18 month old heifer, Mowbraypark Airhostess, the foundation for his 100 cow herd he plans to establish within the next few months with British Charolais.

“As British Charolais breeders we are pleased to have the opportunity to be involved in this new arrangement. It will provide a real chance for Romanians to enhance their beef sector, initially for home consumption, and eventually to develop export markets,” says Mr Atkinson. “The new market is also providing a new opportunity for British Charolais breeders whose stock is recorded and able to meet with export requirements. However, I believe Romania is just the tip of the iceberg. A vast market is opening up in Eastern Europe and beyond for British Charolais genetics, both for live animals and embryos.”

The British Charolais Cattle Society’s David Benson adds: “We are pleased to have the opportunity help Romania set up its herdbook. We will be commencing discussions with the Romanian breeders at the five day industry event, Indagra, staged at Bucharest next month where the Mowbraypark stock are scheduled to be featured on the BCCS stand.”

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