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Gloucester Cattle

Background History on Gloucester Cattle


1200 - 1750: Growing wealth and popularity Gloucester cattle are an ancient breed, numerous in the Severn Vale and throughout Gloucestershire as early as the 13th century. They were valued for their meat and milk (producing cheese) and as strong draught oxen.

1750 - 1972: Decline Achieving peak popularity about 1750 with Gloucester cattle from Devon to Essex and to the Welsh coast but then depleted by: Disease in the 18th century, development of other breeds, arable farming taking grazing land, continuing sales of established herds in the early 20th century resulting in only one old substantial herd remaining by 1972.

There was success in 1796 when the Gloucester cow blossom provided the first anti-smallpox serum to Sir Edward Jenner as he noticed that milk maids were free of smallpox.

1972 - Present day: Revival and New Success 

Originally formed in 1919 the Gloucester Cattle Society was revived in 1973 initially to provide for the survival of the breed. The Society has been very successful and breed numbers have now grown to over 700 registered females. The cattle are again recognised for their contribution to the environment and superb beef and cheese.

The breed is categorised as a rare breed by the 
Rare Breeds Survival Trust and its status is monitored on the Watchlist.

For further information about this breed of cattle please visit 
The Gloucester Cattle Society Ltd 

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