Russians buy British Herefords for export to USSR

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A three-strong Russian trade delegation in September 1970 toured British pedigree Herefords selecting bulls for export to the Soviet Union.

Fifty-five bulls were provisionally chosen for veterinary and semen tests, and of this number 40 were eventually to be expected to be shipped to the Baltic port of Riga at the start of October 1970.

Pedigree breeders all over the country offered no fewer than 555 Hereford bulls for inspection by the Russians.

But because of time only a comparatively small number of herds were visited by the buying team which included Mr Andrey Maltsev, head of USSR beef cattle department, Mr Nickolas Krogulov, a ministry vet, and Mrs Eugenia A Shavrina, a senior commodity expert.

The Russian buying delegation, accompanied by Mr Michael Lumsden of United Livestock Exports of Great Britain Limited, who were handling the exportation in co-operation with the Hereford Book Society, selected their bulls from herds in Shropshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Hertfordshire.

Mr Maltsev said: “We have been interested in bulls between 12 and 21 months of age. We have been looking for bulls which are well-grown and strong on their legs. We want a medium-sized bull, not too big, and not too small.”

He continued: “Herefords are a very good breed and they suit the Russian climate. British pedigree Hereford bulls are really first class.”

The Herefords were to go to the Soviet Union mainly for pure breeding on state farms and government research institutes.