50 years ago the Red Angus breed was officially approved for registration in the Canadian Angus Herdbook.
The Canadian Cattlemen's Association says the first record of Red Angus in Canada is the recorded importation of a red cow from Scotland in 1886.
Now the Red Angus breed accounts for more than 40 per cent of Canada's national Angus herd.
CEO of the Canadian Angus Association Rob Smith says back in the day, the red colour was seen as in impurity in Angus breeding.
"When the red ones would come along, I think that the original breeders thought that wasn't the indented purpose of the breed, they needed to be black because it was the only black cattle at those times, so they really didn't prefer the genetics."
Smith says it wasn't until exotic breeds like Simmental, Charolais, and Limousine were introduced to Canada that there was a strong desire for red genetics to cross-breed with these exotic cattle.
In 1908, only female Red Angus cattle were allowed to be registered in the herdbook.
"They felt the way to propagate the red gene was to actually use those bulls, and they didn't want to propagate red genetics." Smith says. "So they thought, well a red female bred to a black bull, because black is dominate, will always be a black offspring, so they felt they were not dismissing those red cattle."
On March 15, 1921 all Red Angus cattle were excluded from the Canadian Angus Herdbook.
I wasn't until April 3, 1968 Red Angus cattle were officially approved for registration in Canada.
Smith says there is no difference between Red and Black Angus cattle, other than the colour of their hair coat.
"We have done a lot of research over the years in terms of identifying whether there was carcass difference, a carcass quality difference between Red and Black Angus and there isn't. Whether one makes better mothers than the others, and there isn't. Really Angus is Angus."
Source : Steinbachonline