The case of Farmer Gow and his Nazi cows

A British farmer was forced to cull a herd of cows genetically modified for aggressive behaviour as part of the Third Reich’s cultural propaganda programme

According to the Independent, [January 5th, 2015] The Nazis saw some bizarre symbolic significance in breeding cattle for the purpose of obtaining prized characteristics of muscularity  and ferocity.  There is something Wagnerian in the efforts of the German brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck who in the 1920s attempted to recreate a species of extinct ancient wild bulls, from the closest available breed identified as Spanish fighting cattle.

Derek and the Heck cows

Nearly a hundred years later, in 2009,  An English farmer, Derek Gow, introduced a small herd  into his West Devon dairy farm.  Sadly, the efforts of the brothers Heck had achieved some of the required results on his acquired livestock.  Most of the animals were uncontrollable, and were reported as having ‘repeatedly tried to kill farm workers’.

Mr Gow took the decision that it would be best to send the most violent beasts to the abattoir.

Were there other solutions?

I was reminded of a story published in LWD some years ago on the merits of Tai Chi in calming cows.


Or maybe a cow whisperer could have been called in?

Another LWD theme has been horse-whispering and the principles of trust-based leadership. Perhaps these might have suggested another way of dealing with Farmer Gow’s troublesome cows

One Response to The case of Farmer Gow and his Nazi cows

  1. Sam Shen Cheng Wan says:

    Interesting story to introduce the leadership topic

    cheers, Sam


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