A shipment of £40,000 worth of Aberdeen-Angus cattle to Estonia is taking place this week, the first export of the breed from Scotland for 17 years.

Three bulls and 37 heifers from four herds in north-east Scotland left by road at the weekend and were due to be rested in Holland before being delivered to their new homes in Estonia.

Arable farmers in Estonia have to keep at least 15% of their farm in grass and the Aberdeen-Angus is seen as an ideal breed for foraging.

The main buyer of the first shipment owns a 4000-acre farm.

“This is a tremendous breakthrough for the Aberdeen-Angus breed and is likely to be followed by further export business as demand for quality beef in Estonia expands,” said consignor Ken Howie, Cairnton, Lumphanan.

Potential buyers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as Estonia, had visited Scotland in recent weeks, he added.