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The Meuse-Rhine-Issel or Meuse-Rhine-Yssel[1] (Dutch: Maas-Rijn-IJssel[1]) is a breed of cattle that originated in the Netherlands and Germany. It gets its name from the region in which it was bred - where the three rivers Meuse, Rhine and Issel (or Oude IJssel) meet. The breed is known as MRI or MRIJ for short. It was developed in the second half of the 19th century. Since 1874 it has been registered in the Nederlands Rundvee Syndicaat (NRS) and has been recognised as a breed since 1905. The purpose was to create a cattle breed that can be used for the production of dairy and beef. There are about 35.000 Meuse Rhine IJssel cattle in the Netherlands.

In the early 1970s MRI cattle were first imported into the United Kingdom and Ireland. The breed also occurs in small numbers in Australia, the United States and Canada. In the Netherlands the population number decreased since 1970, because of the increasing Holstein influence.

The Improved red-and-white meat breed , Improved MRI or Improved red pied (Dutch: Verbeterd roodbont vleesras) was developed from the double-purpose variety Meuse-Rhine-Issel animals with luxury muscularity, and is now a new breed on its own.[2][circular reference]


  1. ^ a b Woelders, H. (2009). Cryoconservation of cattle breeds in The Netherlands. Wageningen University and Research. Available online (pdf).
  2. ^ nl:Verbeterd roodbont vleesveeras

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