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Pinzgauer Cattle

National-Park Cattle

The mountain range known as Hohe Tauern, with all its magnificence, beauty and ruggedness, has played a crucial role in the evolvement of Pinzgauer cattle. Pinzgauer cattle is characterized by a dark, chestnut base color with typical white marks on the back, the flanks and belly as well as on the front legs and calves. These typical colours, and the dark-brown head, is the characteristic feature of this breed.

The ancestors of the Pinzgauer cattle were introduced to the Tauern valleys by the Celts and evolved into a highly robust, resistant, fertile and adaptable breed through a natural process of selection.

Mountain cattle breeding is an important and natural sector of agriculture and is based on the abundance of pastures down in the valleys and up on the mountains. According to a recent scientific study, the Pinzgauer breed has again proved to be perfect for the food grown in this area. In order to achieve average performance, farmers therefore have very little need to buy additional concentrated feed for their animals. As early as around 1820, these animals were exported to regions that today are Romania, Yugoslavia, and the Czech and Slovak Republics. At present, Pinzgauer cattle can be found in 25 countries around the world. In South Africa, Canada, the US, and Australia, Pinzgauer cattle thrive even under the harshest environmental conditions. Their sturdy hooves, their ability to travel over long distances and their russet coat, which protects them from UV radiation, are the characteristics that breeders the world over most appreciate in those animals.

According to Baron Freiherr von Crailsheim, Pinzgauer oxen,were "shipped to France as early as a century ago, where they were slaughtered and highly prized for their succulent meat". That special quality of Pinzgauer beef was also confirmed by Prof. Franz Pirchner at the Technical University of Munich. Pinzgauer beef clearly and positively stands out from other varieties because of its tender, succulent and marbled meat as well its favor. In its original home, the number of Pinzgauer cattle declined drastically in the past few decades, presumably as a result of changing fashion trends and the intensification of agriculture, thus rendering it one of the endangered livestock species. The Pinzgauer cattle, the only cattle breed indigenous (autochthonous) to Austria that is known all over the world, will have to be given added attention as a "national-park breed" and organic cattle.



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