Blue Albion

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The Blue Albion was a British breed of cattle that originated in the English Midlands. They were a multi-purpose breed, with potential in meat production alongside milk production. The breed became extinct in 1967 due to a foot-and-mouth outbreak and the subsequent culling required to get the disease under control.

Breed characteristics[edit]

The Blue Albion was a blue-roan coloured, horned breed of cattle. The breed was used for both meat and dairy production.

History[edit]

Blue Albion cattle originated from the crossing of black cattle with white cattle in the English counties of Derbyshire and Staffordshire.[1] This cross-breeding often results in a blue roan colouration. The original breeds used in the breeding of the Blue Albion are thought to have been Shorthorn, Welsh Black and British Friesian cattle.[2] The Blue Albion became an official breed when the Blue Albion Cattle Society was formed in the Peak District of Derbyshire in 1921.[2]

Extinction[edit]

The 1967 foot-and-mouth epidemic led to a nationwide culling programme to get the disease under control. This resulted in the culling of all remaining Blue Albions, making the breed extinct.[3][4] Since their extinction, attempts have been made to reconstitute the breed. British Friesian and Shorthorn cattle were used, although the current breed is no longer a true breed due to cross-breeding policies.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Blue Albion Cow on show". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Janet Dohner (2002). The Encyclopaedia of Historic and Endangered Livestock and Poultry Breeds. Yale University Press. p. 219. ISBN 0300088809. 
  3. ^ L. Alderson. "Disease Threats to Genetic Conservation: BSE in Britain" (PDF). UCO. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  4. ^ David Brown (4 July 2001). "£2.5m gene bank for rare breeds". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  5. ^ G.L.H. Alderson. "The Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources in The United Kingdom". Retrieved 5 June 2013.