BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 9 October, 2001, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK
Rare 'frozen herd' plan
Chillingham Wild Cattle
Chillingham Wild Cattle have White Park ancestry
A cattle association is calling for drastic steps to be to protect a rare breed in the event of any future outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

The Chillingham Wild Cattle have roamed in their natural surroundings of Chillingham Park in Northumberland since the mid-13th Century.

The Chillingham Wild Cattle Association wants to create a "frozen herd" using semen and embryos from the cattle in case of further outbreaks.

The epidemic of 1967 led the association to establish a "reserve" herd in Scotland.

'Great consolation'

Professor Stephen Hall, the professor of animal science at Lincoln University, is on the governing council of the association.

He said it is time to take more precautions to protect the herd.

"We've been here before. The 1967 outbreak gave everyone a scare and as a result of that the association set up the reserve herd in the north-east of Scotland.

"It has been a great consolation to know that that's there as a last resort."

"Now we feel we need to take things a step further than that."

The herd has always been small - in 1947 only 13 animals survived the winter.

There are currently about 20 breeding females in the herd.

See also:

01 Oct 01 | Sci/Tech
Endangered sheep cloned
03 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
Rare breeds to get gene 'library'
21 Mar 01 | UK
Rare breeds 'could be lost'
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories