Saturday, 10 January 2015

A Nazi-Era Cattle Breed, Just as Awful as Expected

And UK farmer Derek Gow confirmed that suspicion the hard way, as his Hitler-era Heck cows proved so aggressive that he ended up sending more than half of them to the sausage factory. The ill-conceived venture began back in 2009, when Gow imported a dozen of the so-called Nazi cows from Belgium, a strain of cattle stepping hoof onto British soil for the first time in 200 years. At the time Gow dubbed the move part of his larger conservation efforts to protect disappearing species (he also lends shelter to beavers, polecats, and voles). “They look like cave paintings of Lascaux and Altamira. It makes you think of the light of a tallow lamp and these huge bulls on these cave paintings leaping out at you from darkened walls.” Gow admiringly told the Telegraph at the time. But that’s hardly all that the cattle evoke. This particular breed dates back to the 1920s, when German zoologists and brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck, recruited by the Nazis, began a program to resurrect extinct wild species by cross-breeding various domestic descendants — an effort typically referred to as “back breeding.” Among their success stories was the half-ton Heck cattle, a reasonable facsimile of the hearty and Herculean auroch cattle that dated back some 2 million years prior and has roamed en masse all over Germany centuries prior. The back-breeding program reflected the dual Nazi obsession with eugenics and nostalgia. The back-breeding program reflected the dual Nazi obsession with eugenics and nostalgia; the wild ancestry of the auroch reflected a time of “biological unity” before civilization softened and “uglified” man and beast alike. And in fact, the program’s research patron, one Hermann Goring, sought to preserve biological unity not only by resurrecting extinct species, but by restoring them to their original habitats; thus his plan was to return the aurochs to the primeval Białowieża forest. Is anyone really surprised that the cows turned out to be -READ LINK- INFO  READ WITH LINKHeck cattle are a hardy breed of domestic cattle. These cattle are the result of an attempt to breed back the extinct aurochs from modern aurochs-derived cattle in the 1920s and 1930s. Controversy revolves around methodology and success of the program.[1]There are considerable differences between Heck cattle and the aurochs. Furthermore, there are other cattle breeds which resemble their wild ancestors at least as much as Heck cattle.[2]-Heck cattle originated in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s in an attempt to breed back domestic cattle to their ancestral form: theaurochs (Bos primigenius primigenius).[3] In the first years of the Weimar Republic, the brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck independently started their extensive breeding-back programmes.[4] Heinz was the director of the Hellabrunn Zoological Gardens in Munich andLutz of the Berlin Zoological Gardens. Only twelve respectively eleven years later, just as the Weimar Republic was drawing to a close, they each announced their success.[5][6] Both brothers used a different selection of cattle breeds in their breeding-back attempts. For example, Lutz Heck (Berlin) used Spanish fighting bulls, while Heinz (Munich) did not.[2] The Berlin breed seemingly did not survive the Second World War, so all modern Heck cattle go back to the experiments of Heinz Heck in Munich.[2] Those ancestral breeds include:
In 1932, the first bull that Heinz Heck believed to resemble the aurochs, named ″Glachl″, was born. It was a 75% Corsican and 25% (Gray cattle × Lowland × Highland × Angeln) cross individual. This bull and its father subsequently were bred into further breeds to increase weight.[2] As a consequence, most modern Heck cattle go back to Central European milk- and meat cattle that were supplemented by cattle from other regions.[7] Advocates of Heck cattle often claim that Heinz′ and Lutz′ breeding results looked largely identically ″proving the success″ of their experiment. However, Berlin and Munich Heck cattle did not look very similar.[2]
In the German Zoo Duisburg, one Watussi cattle cow, which is a half-zebuine breed, was crossed with a Heck bull. Some modern Heck cattle, mainly those displaying large and thick horns, descend from this crossbred offspring. In some locations, primitive Southern European cattle, such as Sayaguesa Cattle and Chianina, have been crossed into Heck cattle herds aiming to approach the aurochs in phenotypical characters. This cross-breed is called Taurus cattle, which is not to be confused with the TaurOs Project (see below).[2]-LINK-

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