Expo Prado showcases best of Uruguayan cattle, sheep breeds


DM Monitoring

MONTEVIDEO: Residents and ranchers in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo have the ideal chance to see the best of cattle and sheep breeds from across the country as the Expo Prado, or the agro-industrial exhibition of the Rural del Prado, has been running on Sept. 9-20.
In this year’s event, 481 cows and bulls, 305 sheep and a number of fowl, horses, rabbits, pigs and goats were put on exhibition.
Among the livestock was Aberdeen Angus, a Scottish cattle breed with high-quality meat that has become popular in recent years.
“The breed has been growing nationwide for six or seven years. It has a 47 percent presence in the national rodeo in beef breeds,” said Matias Fuentes, executive coordinator of the Angus Breeders Society.
Up to 20,000 pure Angus live animals, heifers for reproduction, have been exported to China in the last three years, said Fuentes, adding that inquiries are still coming in.
Uruguay is one of the largest meat producers in the world, and farms from across the country work year round to improve their herds by introducing strong breeding stock to this important national exhibition.
The award-winning cattle at Expo Prado in general “have had many years of genetic work,” according to Rodrigo Granja, president of the Corriedale Breeders Society.
Corriedale, according to Granja, is a “dual purpose” sheep breed that produces both wool and meat, so the drop in international demand for wool has only partially affected Corriedale producers.
As to the animals’ meat, Granja said, “we are having very good results. So, what does not work on one side is working on the other.”
During the event held amid the COVID-19 pandemic, temperature checks could be seen at every entry point, and the use of face masks was required in all areas.
Rafael Ferber, director of exhibitions for the Rural Association of Uruguay and the organizer of the event, told media that organizers were holding the event “without lowering our guard and being very attentive so that there are no health problems.” The largest agricultural exhibition in the country, the Expo Prado gathers hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, with products ranging from live animals to agricultural machinery being exhibited and sold.
“Each visitor that comes to us this year is already a success. We have been able to work excellently, taking into account the pandemic,” Ferber said.