There is agreement that the Belted Galloway was developed in the 16-1700s in the Galloway district from Standard Galloway cattle and an unidentified outside belted source that predated available records. It is generally thought that that unknown source is the Dutch Lakenvelder which gave the Belted Galloway the belted colour pattern and its milking characteristics. The milking characteristic was used for centuries in Scottish dairies. In addition to selection for different production characteristics, the Belted Galloway has always been subjected to a degree of selection pressure for the aesthetics of its colour pattern. Strong selection for an aesthetic characteristic can be detrimental to other characteristics such as carcase quality. Any genetic exchange between Galloways and Belted Galloways has been one way for a very long time, well over two hundred years. That Belted Galloway breeders have used Galloway genetics in the pedigree Belted Galloway population is a matter of record. However, Galloway breeders have not used Belted Galloway genetics and there is no record of Belted Galloway in the pedigree Galloway population. The Galloway has been distinct from the Belted Galloway for a longer period of time than the total breed history of many other livestock types. Virtually all Registries maintain Belted Galloways within a separate section of their Herd Book.
- are cattle with great adaptability to the varying conditions of altitude, topography, climate, nutrition and management.
- are cattle with the resilience to cope with feed shortages and to recover quickly from drought and harsh winter conditions.
- are easy calving cattle.
- have calves that grow rapidly and efficiently on pasture or in a feedlot.
- are dams which are known for their fertility, hardiness and proven ability to get in calf quickly and consistently.
- are dams who are good foragers, with a long life span and constant production.
- beef consistently achieves more desirable results in carcass quality determinants such as fat depth, meat colour and pH assuring a tastier and more tender product.