“Nazi cows” prove too aggressive for Devon farmer

Heck cattle were bred in Germany in the 1930s Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

A Devon farmer who owns Britain’s only so-called “nazi cows” has had to reduce the size of his herd because the animals proved too aggressive.

The Heck cattle got their unfortunate nickname after being bred by Adolf Hitler’s scientists in the 1930s. The Nazi party commissioned two geneticists to recreate the extinct Auroch by tracing its genes down to domestic breeds.

The result was the Heck cow, which first arrived in the UK in 2009. Farmer Derek Gow imported 14 of the animals to Upcott Grange Farm in Devon. Mr Gow recognises the importance of the breed from a conservation point of view.

However, the farmer has now had to halve the number of cows in his small herd because their aggressive nature makes them difficult to handle.

Despite these problems, Mr Gow has no regrets about bringing the animals to Devon. His remaining cattle are quiet and calm, and have proved popular with visitors.