HISTORY OF BUFFALYPSO
Water buffaloes were first introduced into Trinidad and Tobago from India in 1906. Water buffalo is not indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago. The first importation of 30 Jaffarabadi buffaloes to a sugarcane estate in Tacarigua was reported to have occurred between 1900 to 1905. Several importations occurred since, with the last being in 1949. They were imported to haul cane and provide transport. Presently, these animals continue to provide draught power for a few small farmers in the sugarcane fields and are being used increasingly for beef production. Dr. Stephen Bennett developed a new breed of cattle whose name matches the land of his birth, the land of the calypso – the Buffalypso. Through selective breeding he set out to reduce infections in water buffalo which were prone to tuberculosis. He found that the Indian water buffalo, which was introduced to Trinidad as a “beast of burden” to work on the sugar estates, was a tougher animal. It was less infected with this disease and so he chose these animals for his breeding programme. He soon realised that these animals were under-utilised and had potential as a beef breed. After many years of research he developed this superior breed, the Buffalypso (Bubalis bubalis), in the early 1960s. The Buffalypso is a prized breed because of its thick skin, its ability to keep off parasites and its good quality beef and milk production. The thick skin has great value in the manufacture of leather goods, since it can be split to form two hides - the outer skin used for belts and shoes and the thin inner skin for handbags. Buffalypso became an amazing breed of animals, which were introduced to Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, USA and Italy among many other countries.
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