Rome withdrew from the island in 407 AD, tribal warfare and chaos followed the departure of the legions and continued until 1066. During this period the white cattle escaped into the wilderness and reverted to a wild condition. For 700 years they were regarded as wild game animals and were hunted as such. During this 700 years “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest controlled the existence of White cattle. Mother nature decided which animal lived and which one died and which one reproduced.
The cattle that survived in each generation were superior - nature killed the others, she does not compromise. The basic qualities of hardiness, livability, disease resistance, fertility and feed efficiency enabled a part of each generation to survive and reproduce themselves. These basic traits of functional efficiency became more bred-in and more firmly established with each succeeding generation.
In 1066 England was conquered and occupied by the Normans. Various kings during the 12th and 13th centuries awarded large land grants to the church and to members of their court. Such grants or estates were “emparked”, enclosed by high fences or walls of stone. This was done to exclude poacher (the previous owners who had been dispossessed) and to confine and control as many game animals as possible inside the “Parks”. White cattle were so “emparked” along with the deer and other game animals.
In 1919 the first British White Park Registry Association was formed. In 1940, one bull and five cows were sent to the United States as seedstock in event of a Nazi invasion of England. In about 1960 all Park cattle in the custody of the U.S Government were sold to the public.
A group of breeders formed the White Park Cattle Association of America in 1975. In the late 80’s, probably 1987 or 1988, some members broke away from the WPCAA and formed the British White Cattle Association of America. In 1999 the WPCAA and many breeders of the BWCAA reunited to form the American British White Park Association.
It is the long period of natural development, as a known and specific breed, that has given the White cattle their genetic bred-in superiority of functional efficiency.