DSP - What Are Nazi Cattle?

cattle in the morning

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Cows aren't aggressive, right?

Well Nazis in World War II tried to resurrect a breed of cattle called the aurochs which became extinct in Poland during the 1600s.

The Washington Post reports that Lutz and Heinz Heck got the idea to bring back the aurochs in the 1920s. They believed that the aurochs "were the origin of all domestic cattle".

They got the funding for their experiment in the 1930s from the Nazi government because it continued the idea of bringing back a pure Europe.

They got to work on what would come to be known as the "Heck" cattle.

They used modern genetics to begin cross breed cattle with aggressive animals such as Spanish bulls.

Most of the cattle died off but there were some that survived. So what happened to them?

Today, the living Heck cattle live in some parts of Europe, including England.

Dereck Gow is a farmer who bought 13 Heck cows partially for nature photographers and partially because he too wanted to start breeding.

When he started to breed the cattle, many of them became aggressive after a few years.

He said:

"If I was standing here and some of the more aggressive ones were in this field, and they could see me, then they would come right across now and try and kill you."

Due to this, Gow has needed to kill a lot of them every year, sending them to slaughterhouses for meats.

If you want to hear more about the story, listen to Bryan Suits talk about it below!

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