Some of Scotland's rare livestock and equine breeds will be represented at the Royal Highland Show Some of Scotland's rare livestock and equine breeds will be represented at the Royal Highland Show
Some of Scotland's rare livestock and equine breeds will be represented at the Royal Highland Show | RBST

Here are seven of Scotland's most rare livestock breeds which will be represented at the Royal Highland Show

Some of the breeds can be traced back to the Viking and Pictish periods.

From seaweed eating sheep to chickens whose ancestors were, as legend has it, used to ward off strangers, Scotland has an eclectic mix of rare breeds.

Some beasts which might appear to be typical farmyard animals - cows, horses, sheep - are, in fact, the original breeds native to this country with unique genetics that are rare today.

For example, when you think of Aberdeen Angus, you might think it’s a common breed because of the world famous Aberdeen Angus beef, which has likely been cross-bred. But the original, native Aberdeen Angus is actually very rare.

Several of these breeds will be represented at the Royal Highland Show by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

Steve McMinn from Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, a Trustee of RBST, and chairman of RBST Scotland said: “Bred for our landscapes and the needs of our communities, Scotland’s native livestock and equine breeds have been vital to our people and an integral part of Scotland’s natural environment for centuries. Sadly many of these irreplaceable breeds became very rare with the mechanisation of the twentieth century.

“RBST Scotland is working to help these breeds back to the heart of farming and land management today and for the future, where they have key roles to play in high quality food production, conservation grazing to improve biodiversity, disease resistance and sustainable farming.”

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