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The Herds Shot Round the WorldNative Breeds and the British Empire, c. 1800-1900$
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Rebecca J. H. Woods

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469634661

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469634661.001.0001

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A Breed in Any Other Place

A Breed in Any Other Place

(p.25) Chapter One A Breed in Any Other Place
The Herds Shot Round the World

Rebecca J. H. Woods

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores “native” British breeds within the context of agricultural improvement at the turn of the nineteenth century, arguing that the idea of a native breed arose at the same time and in opposition to that of an “improved” breed. Breeds were understood to encompass the relationship between heredity, anthropogenic selection, and the influence of climate or environment, although which of these factors was understood to take precedence could and did vary. As breeders increasingly selected their animals for early maturity, meatiness, or particular kinds of wool in the case of sheep in conformation with market imperatives, “native” came to signal a type of livestock defined more by its relationship to a particular place within Great Britain than by its degree of breeding. A growing propensity for moving animals from place to place, and combining existing breeds into new types of livestock, such as Shorthorn cattle or New Leicester sheep, informed these developments.

Keywords:   New Leicester sheep, Shorthorn cattle, native breeds, agricultural improvement, Great Britain, selective breeding

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