The Angus was originally developed in Scotland and introduced into the temperate areas of Australia in the late 1800s. The breed has relied heavily on modern performance recording technology to accelerate breed development to the point that the Angus is now showing remarkable popularity and growth.
There are a number of reasons for this growth, including its performance in terms of fertility, growth and carcase quality. High fertility and adaptability have proven to be a bonus in the northern areas, with excellent growth in bull numbers sold into Queensland. Angus cattle have become recognised as a key source of quality carcase genetics. There is also the added bonus of excellent marbling, a recognised plus in eating quality for both the domestic and export markets.
Many feedlots specify Angus as a preferred breed because of this propensity to marble. Some feedlots producing for the premium high quality Japanese market even go to the trouble of sourcing cattle sired by Angus bulls with a known propensity to marble. The Angus breed has available EBVs for this trait of marbling or intramuscular fat percentage (IMF %).
The breed has been closely involved with the identification of superior genetic traits. The Angus-based Group BREEDPLAN combines performance data on Angus in Australia and New Zealand, creating a greatly enhanced Australasian database. The quest for breed improvement has seen an increase in the use of artificial breeding technology.
On the meat side, the branded products Certified Australian Angus Beef and AMG Gold can be found in both domestic and overseas markets, clearly differentiating their product to the consumer. The breed society is also heavily involved in training and development, conducting seminars for Angus breeders on a regular basis and sending young Angus breeders overseas on study scholarships.