Presently, a large proportion of Australia is restricted to beef cattle production (vide Figure 1). Yet there were no indigenous cattle in Australia. The Bos taurus British breeds, viz. Shorthorns, Herefords, Devons and Angus, were imported from Britain over a century ago. The breeds were expected to hold their own under all environments encountered. Understandably, the breeders had no alternative but to assume that the particular Bos taurus breed of their choice could perform optimally. Over six million such cattle exist presently in harsh, dry or even tick infested humid tropical regions. Research to determine how to improve the existing catle for beef production has not been hotly pursued; probably due to lack of alternative genotypes due to rigid quarantine isolation.

D. F Dowling

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 3, Madrid, Spain, 765–774, 1974
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