We rescued a unique breed when it was on the verge of disappearing. During 1972 and 1973 the Merino breed was going through one of its worst moments in Spain. As Mr. Cayo Esteban Muñoz states in his book “La Raza Merina y sus Cruces”, at that time the development plans to increase Spanish meat production took precedence, which led many breeders to seek industrial crossbreeding with other foreign breeds that were genetically highly developed for meat production. Such indiscriminate crossbreeding seriously threatened its conservation and, had it not been for the quick reaction of the founders of this Association, it is quite possible that the genetic reserve of the most important breed in the world would have disappeared.
Thus, Mr Cayo Esteban Muñoz, Head of Section of the Subdirectorate General for Livestock Development and Expansion, in close collaboration with the Deputy Director himself, Mr Eduardo Laguna Sanz, began a meticulous and almost handcrafted work, consisting of collecting the most representative animals from the different herds that conserved pure historical lines. Once selected, they were taken to Hinojosa del Duque (Córdoba), to a Selection Centre run by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. This exemplary scientific work concluded with the creation of the National Association of Merino Cattle Breeders and the Genealogical Tree. The aim was to raise awareness of the clear advantages of preserving the Merino breed and breeding purebred animals.
But it was not until 6th December 1975 that the National Association of Merino Cattle Breeders was officially constituted in Badajoz, with Mr. Carlos Gil de Córdoba as the first President, a descendant of the foreman who led the first herd of Merinos that the Spanish King Charles III offered to his cousin the French King Louis XVI as a gift. A great defender of the Merino breed, and a connoisseur like few others of the transhumant activity, Mr. Carlos coordinated with exemplary passion the implementation of our activities.
Artisans of the race
WHAT MOVES US?
Proud to protect the most emblematic native breed of Spanish livestock, not only for being the most prized jewel of the Spanish livestock genetic heritage, but also for its contribution to the conservation of the environment thanks to its extensive rearing, with the benefits that this entails for the fixation of the population in rural areas.