The Ala-Tau (aka Alatau and Alatauskaya and Ала-Тау корова in Russian; Алатау in Mongolian) is the transboundary breed name used by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The Ala-Tau is named after the Zaliyski-Alatau mountains (aka Zailiiski Alatau) which are on the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Breeding started in the foothills, at the Alamedin State farm in Kirgiziya, Kazakhstan.
The Ala-Tau was developed from 1929 to 1931 when 1,000 Kirgiz cows were bred with imported Friesian, Simmental and Swiss Brown bulls. The best female offspring were then back-crossed mainly to Swiss Brown bulls, but Kostroma and Yaroslavl cattle also played a part (along with the use of American Brown Swiss semen).
The Ala-Tau, as a new dual-purpose breed, was recognized in 1950 and herdbooks were started in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The breed then spread into Tajikistan where it is known for its good fertility and longevity.
In 1990, Tajikistan had a fluctuating Ala-Tau population of 381,300 – 814,000, however it was reported then that their numbers were decreasing and no population data has been reported since.
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