Monday, February 12, 2007

Chillingham White Cattle

The White Cattle of Chillingham in Northumberland have been enclosed (or, if you like, emparked) since medieval times, and allowed to be wild. Some were hunted for meat and sport (or just euthenised after injury) as you can see from this engraving by Thomas Bewick. Nowadays they are studied for their gene pool and because they are, literally "wild", apart from the occasional hay feed in winter. Records show that some culling and selection went on (under the supervision of Charles Darwin, no less ) but no culling, castrating or other interference has been done since about the end of World War I .