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Dairy Shorthorn nearing extinction

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The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) has issued its annual watchlist, a document showing the rarity of the UK’s native breeds of mammal.

This data is used, along with a multiplier, to estimate the number of registered breeding females in the UK for each breed.


In the 2020-21 watchlist, the current status of the rare breeds of cattle are as follows:

Critical (fewer than 150)

  • Albion;
  • The Chillingham Wild Cattle;
  • Dairy Shorthorn (original population);
  • Northern Dairy Shorthorn;
  • Vaynol.

Endangered (150 to 250)

  • Native Aberdeen Angus.

Vulnerable (250 to 450)

  • Lincoln Red (original population);
  • Whitebred shorthorn.
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At-risk (450 to 750)

  • Gloucester
  • Irish Moiled


  • British White;
  • Shetland;
  • Traditional Hereford;
  • White Park.


The sheep that feature on the latest watchlist are:

Vulnerable (500 to 900)

  • Boreray;
  • Leicester Longwool;
  • Lincoln Longwool;
  • North Ronaldsay;
  • Whitefaced Woodland;
  • Welsh Mountain Pedigree.

At-risk (900 to 1500

  • Balwen;
  • Castlemilk Moorit;
  • Cotswold;
  • Derbyshire Gritstone;
  • Devon and Cornwall Longwool;
  • Hill Radnor;
  • Manx Loaghton;
  • Norfolk Horn;
  • Portland;
  • Soay;
  • Teeswater;
  • Wensleydale.

Minority (1500 to 3000)

  • Border Leicester;
  • Devon Closewool;
  • Dorset Down;
  • Dorset Horn;
  • Greyface Dartmoor;
  • Llanwenog;
  • Lonk;
  • Oxford Down;
  • Whiteface Dartmoor.

Image source: Rare Breeds Survival Trust Facebook

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