Sura de Stepa Cattle

Breeds and animal husbandry - Romania

The sura de stepa cattle breed is raised widely throughout Romania. Its genetic heritage lies at the origin of several other Romanian cow breeds (like the Bruna de Maramure? and B?l?ata româneasc?). Its contemporary presence is documented in isolated farms in Moldova and Oltenia.It is a very sturdy and versatile breed that can be used for work. It is not a very productive cow in terms of milk supply, but its meat is of a very good quality with low cholesterol levels. It is valued for its adaptation to the local environment throughout all seasons and is also disease resistant.The cattle display a homogeneous white or creamy yellow color, which darkens to black around the ears, muzzle and tail. Their most remarkable visual feature is the large pair of sharp horns.Sura de step? have been gradually disappearing throughout the 20th century. They were used extensively in agricultural work (for ploughing and transportation) in the past, and their central role in the Romanian peasant household is identifiable in many of the works depicting everyday rural life of key 19th century Romanian painter Nicolae Grigorescu. In mid-20th century the breed represented around half of the total number of cattle in Romania, but interest in this breed decreased during the Communist regime with the initiative to improve livestock for milk production. Additionally, the transition from manual to mechanical agricultural labor also rendered the breed obsolete for work purposes. The high quality of the meat has so far not been able to outweigh these two disadvantages, as local Romanian culinary standards do not place a high value on the higher quality of just the meat.