The Belted Galloway Club of Ireland has been approached by a beef processor who has international niche markets for Belted Galloway beef, a club spokesperson has told That’s Farming.
The club – which has approximately seventy-five pedigree breeders - wishes to determine the number of Belted Galloway cattle coming available for slaughter in Ireland - both North and South.
It is also interested in reaching out to those who have Belted Galloway stock to sell for finishing and those interesting in finishing Belted Galloways.
Speaking to That’s Farming, John McHugh - Club PRO and Society Council member said: “It’s early days yet we were approached only a few weeks ago and were informed market is mainly in Germany and Italy and leading London restaurants.”
Steers, heifers and bulls are accepted and stock must be sired by one of the Galloway breeds – Belted/Black/White/Riggit, grading O+ or R with a fat score of 2 or 3, according to the Club PRO.
The club hopes to have its initial figures by March 1st but will continue to seek information from breeders/finishers throughout the year.
“Hopefully with the feedback from the research we will have a clearer picture of the number of those holding non-pedigree Belted Galloways,” John added.
Belted Galloways are a traditional, slow-maturing beef breed finishing between 24-30 months, with the majority grading R3s.
Pedigree steers have carcasses weights of 280-320 kgs at 28-30-months, while heifers can kill-out at 260-300kgs at 24-28-months. Belted Galloway-crosses can produce carcasses between 320-360kgs under 30-months, according to the Club.
“All of these weights can be achieved by a grass-based diet receiving only grain for the final 3/4 weeks if grass covers slow down.”
Belties are designed for rearing outdoors all-year-round where land type permits converting rough grazing into high-quality meat and with their double coat, they continue to thrive regardless of weather conditions.
They are suitable for hill farms and widely used for conservation grazing as they will feed on the heather, rushes and wild grasses with only some hay supplementation in winter.
“Belties allowed to slowly mature naturally on a grass-based diet give the excellent flavoured Beef that consumers now crave for,” John added.
“Grass contains 45% to 50% of Omega-3 fatty acids - the highest amount compared to all other cattle feeds.” John highlighted.
From this, scientists were able to prove two important facts - that beef from cattle reared on grass contains less saturated fatty acids, and secondly, that the ratio of the unsaturated omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is reduced to about 1:3, John said.
“Therefore, grass-fed beef is an obvious choice for a healthy diet, being capable of providing the health benefits mentioned above.
“Belted Galloway Beef is high in Omega 3s and because it is grass-fed, it has healthier fats than grain-fed beef,” John concluded.
For more information, please contact the following club representatives or see here.
- Des Dunne (R.O.I.) - 087 2647594 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dessy Henry (N.I.) - 07785 224776 - email@example.com
- Brooke Huey (N.I.) - 07801 630457
Image source: Belted Galloway Club Ireland