Very interesting post I've just seen on the Vanderbilt website.... I thought it was just me having problems with gut strings continually breaking in the 1st & 2nd octaves.
Turns out that new EU regulations have meant that gut from younger cows has recently been allowed to be used in the manufacturing process. Gut from younger cows is not as strong as gut from older cows.
According to Vanderbilt, Bow Brand have made an agreement with their suppliers to go back to only getting gut from older cows, so string quality should be back to normal soon.
I was beginning to wonder whether I needed to change over to nylon strings on my top octaves as I've been getting so many breakages.... PHEW!!! Just need to wait it out then.