Britain’s only herd of “Nazi cows” has been sent to the slaughterhouse by their owner because they were too aggressive to handle. The cows were part of a breed created as a result the of a genetic experiment ordered by Hermann Goering.
In the 1930s, Goering had wanted to recreate the legendary auroch cows, which died out in Britain 4000 years ago. He enlisted two geneticists Heinz and Lutz Heck to use modern breeds to ‘regress’ the evolution of the animals into modern breeds. They took animals that collectively shared the key characteristics of the aurochs.
Over time they created the Heck breed, which looked like the originals but were much smaller: the originals were reported to be the size of elephants. They were able to pick up an accurate idea of the characteristics of the cows because they had only died out in Germany in the 1700s. There were also texts about them dating from the time of Julius Caesar, who was said to be a fan.
Five years ago, Derek Gow bought thirteen Hecks from a nature reserve in The Netherlands, and transported them to his farm in Devon. Over the intervening period the herd grew to thirty, but the relationship was not harmonious, in fact most of the animals proved to be violent.
Mr Gow told The Times: “The ones we had to get rid of would just attack you any chance they could. They would try to kill anyone. I have worked with a range of different animals and they are far and away the most aggressive I have ever dealt with.”
As a result of their temperament, the park they came from were unwilling to take them back, so instead they were sent to be turned into sausages. The sausages may prove to be a good use for the animals though, as Gow claimed they meat was lean and ‘gamey’, similar to venison.
It is unknown where their sharp horns will go, but the people of Devon may well heave a sigh of relief that they are no longer attached to an angry 300lb Heck.