top of page
Native Angus herd


The Native Angus® story is one of humble beginnings centuries ago in the glens of Scotland. From those glens they were exported to every country on earth that runs cattle, becoming the predominant breed globally.


Ironically, their very success led them to the brink of extinction. 


In the 1950s and 1960s, as a result of hybrid grains and irrigation techniques, abundant grain harvests in North America suddenly made it possible to feed large numbers of cattle in one location and so, to cut transportation costs, feedlots emerged on a large scale. To take maximum advantage of these feedlots, the phenotype of North American cattle was radically altered in the 1970s towards much larger framed cattle. The original Native Angus® genetics were infused with those of larger framed breeds and exported back to their homeland.

Through generations of line breeding - keep the best, eat the rest - Scots farmers had developed in their herds the classic qualities which built the reputation of the original Aberdeen Angus breed - fertility, maternal function, fleshing ability, soundness, longevity and superior eating quality.


Then within a few decades, the North American quest for economic efficiency based on the feedlot system saw these qualities lost or diminished worldwide.

Superior eating quality was replaced in importance by frame score and rapid growth on grain as the genetics of the Aberdeen Angus breed were modified.

By 1995, only a handful with unaltered original genetics survived.

In the early 1990s Mr Bob Anderson, long time Secretary of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society in Scotland and the leading authority on Angus bloodlines, recognised that the Native Angus were on the brink of extinction. In 1967 there were 98 different Native cow families, but by 1995 there were only 9 families with no imported bloodlines left in existence. There were fewer than 150 Native Angus® breeding females remaining.

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) in the UK recognised this by placing the Native Angus® on their Critical Watchlist (fewer than 150 registered breeding females) - one category before extinction.


Bob compiled a list of the few remaining cows and enlisted the help of Angus farmers Geordie and Julia Soutar to locate genuine Native Angus® animals and to maintain and increase their numbers.

It took over 10 years of diligent searching to acquire all 9 remaining cow families and begin the process of halting the decline. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust worked with Geordie and Julia in their mission to secure the future of Native Angus® cattle and released old semen from their archives for use with Native Angus® cattle.

The original Angus are now recognised by the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society and the RBST as the "Native Angus”, and the difference from the modern Angus is marked by an annotation of “Native Bred” being on the animal’s pedigree and by inclusion in the specially allocated section in the more modern Angus herd books. They are now (2017-2018 RBST Watchlist) on the Endangered Watchlist (150 to 250 registered breeding females).


Only the efforts of the Rare Breed Survival Trust, the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society and Geordie and Julia Soutar of Dunlouise Farm in Angus, Scotland have saved the Native Angus® from likely extinction.

In 2019 Geordie was recognised for his and the family’s efforts in keeping and maintaining a global genetic pool of Native Angus® cattle for which he was awarded an MBE in the Queens new year’s honours list.

bottom of page