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More cash for rare Alpine cattle breeds

Austrian farmers will continue to be able to claim subsidies for the breeding of the Alpine Pinzgauer cattle and the project may even be expanded to further encourage adoption of the cattle in more farms.

The Breeding Association of the Pinzgauer in Maishofen in Austria said that contrary to some reports that suggested by 2014 the grant money would no longer be available – the reality was that it would not only be available but that it might well be expanded to offer more possibilities.

In the EU there is a tendency towards ever cheaper meat and milk with quantity over quality, something criticised by experts. The subsidies in Austria are an attempt to keep the better quality but less quantity afforded by breeds such as the Pinzgauer cattle.

Pinzgauer cattle are a dual purpose cattle breed from the Pinzgau region of Salzburg in Austria. They are distinctively coloured, with chestnut brown sides and white back and underside.

Spokesman Christian Dullnig from the Breeding Association of the Pinzgauer in Maishofen said that with socially responsible farming in the Alps it was not possible to keep cattle that produced the sort of milk yields that matched with the EU average. He said that as a result their subsidies were designed in particular to support the weakest and smallest farmers.

Interestingly the breed is becoming increasingly popular in South Africa, Canada and America where the meat is highly valued.

Austrian Times

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