1. Animal Husbandry

These Farmers Use Frozen Semen of 1960s Cow To Save Rare Cattle Breed

M Kanika
M Kanika
Geordie & Julia Soutar with Aberdeen Angus
Geordie & Julia Soutar with Aberdeen Angus

Geordie & Julia Soutar have used the frozen semen from the 1960s to save a rare species of Aberdeen Angus cows from extinction - with one super-fertile bull named after Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Geordie & Julia Soutar, have been running a worldwide genetics project from their rural farm, for around 26 years. 

Now, that the herd is at the sustainable level, cuts or pieces of 100% Native Angus beef will be available for purchase for the very first time in 30 years. The beef was available at an exclusive launch event in Edinburgh in the month of October & the Soutars’ said that they hope to make it available through Macduff's butcher in the Scottish capital in the coming months.

Aberdeen Angus: It is the most famous beef breed in the whole world and it was developed originally in the 19th century from the slow-maturing cattle of Forfarshire – which is now known as the county of Angus.

Slowly & gradually this breed increased in popularity, it was exported around the world with large populations in the USA, New Zealand, South America, Australia & Canada.

However, the tendency was to breed them with larger types & so when they were imported back into the UK, the original pure native breed fell under the threat.  

In 1995, there were about 9 Native cow families, which are certified by Aberdeen Angus Society in the world - prompting the couple to start their breeding process in the same year from their home at Kingston Farm.  In a bid to save this breed from extinction, Geordie & Julia sourced the last remaining Native Angus cows, including their genetics, semen & embryos

Now, there are 50 cows grazing at their farm, including one named after the PM.

Father-of-two Geordie said that 'We began to look at the original cattle, the Native Angus with no imported genetics in the mid-1990s. There were about 20 cows with no imported bloodlines. Mostly, they were old & most of the time they were in a foal to the North American Bulls, so we have started collecting them & also buying some old semen”.

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