UK farmer forced to butcher aggressive 'Nazi' cows

Adolf Hitler's experiments in eugenics were not confined to humans, as it now appears. The Nazi scientists actually managed to breed a herd of genetically-engineered cows which have turned out to be so aggressive that a UK farmer has been forced to chop up half his stock into meat.

The farmer, Derek Gow, imported more than a dozen Heck 'super cows' to his West Devon farm in 2009, nearly a century after they were first created in the 1920s. He is the only British farmer to own the breed; but has now been forced to kill seven of his cows because they repeatedly tried to kill his staff.

''We have had to cut our herd down to six because some of them were incredibly aggressive and we just couldn't handle them,'' said Gow. He added that the meat made ''very tasty'' sausages with a flavour like venison.

''The ones we had to get rid of would just attack you any chance they could. They would try to kill anyone. Dealing with that was not fun at all. They are by far and away the most aggressive animals I have ever worked with,'' the seasoned dairy farmer said.

The aggressive breed was produced by German brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck, both zoologists, whom the Nazi party commissioned to produce a breed of cattle based on aurochs, a species of extinct ancient wild bull.

The resulting cows, made from wild genes extracted from domestic descendants of the aurochs, had such muscled physiques and deadly horns that they were used in propaganda material during World War II as a further illustration of the Third Reich's strength and purity.

Eerie coincidence
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party might perhaps take a positive view of the development, if at all they are aware of it. Because the move to impart 'Aryan' characteristics to the cow, holy to Hindus, was inspired by ancient runic (if not Vedic) ideas.

''There was a thinking at the time that you could selectively breed animals for Aryan characteristics, which were rooted in runes, folklore and legend. What the Germans did with their breeding programme was create something truly primeval,'' said Gow.

He added, ''The reason the Nazis were so supportive of the project is they wanted them to be fierce and aggressive. When the Germans were selecting them to create this animal they used Spanish fighting cattle to give them the shape and ferocity they wanted.''

Fresians and Simmentals, two popular breeds of cows in Europe, were also part of the breeding process.

The aurochs were a species of wild bull that had once roamed the forests of Europe but were hunted to extinction in the 17th century. The brothers' imitation was slightly shorter than the original, but retained the muscular body, deep brown complexion, and shaggy, coffee-coloured fringe.

The cattle were mostly destroyed after the fall of Nazism in 1945, although some have survived in European nature conservation parks.

Although many of Farmer Gow's herd were aggressive, others were calm and quiet, he said, adding that he has no regrets.

''Since they have gone it is all peaceful again. Peace reigns supreme on the farm. Despite these problems, I have no regrets at all. It has been a good thing to do and the history of them is fascinating,'' he said.