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Droimeann cattle officially recognised as native rare Irish breed

There are currently 243 breeding females and 23 breeding males in Ireland.

Image: Department of Agriculture

THE DROIMEANN CATTLE breed has been officially approved as a native rare Irish breed.

The cattle breed has been recorded in many cultural and historical records in Ireland for a number of centuries, including mentions in famous poetry and songs.

Following work by Weatherbys on DNA profiling using the genotyping technology, the breed has been shown to be unique, based on the genetic distance from other breeds. The performance of the breed has been recorded as being distinct from other breeds, the Department of Agriculture said today.

Making the announcement, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed said he wanted to recognise the “efforts of a dedicated core of breeders over many decades in collecting and selective breeding of these animals”.

“They [the cows] have an adaptability that has allowed them to thrive in Irish production conditions. There are historical references to the Droimeann breed for many years, and thanks to a lot of work by many people and the advent of modern genotyping techniques, we have finally been able to prove their uniqueness as a breed’,” Creed said today.

There are currently 243 breeding females and 23 breeding males and with numbers so low, the breed can be considered ‘at risk’. The department said the survival of the breed is of concern.

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However Creed said he is confident that the dedication of the Dromeann Cattle Society, with support from the department, “will allow numbers to increase in the coming years”.

The last time the department approved a breed as being native and rare was the Kerry Bog Pony fifteen years ago. 

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