The French genetic organization for ruminants is characterized by :
Within the framework of a QMS, breeders organizations combine their means and skills to provide farmers reliable results to lead the selection of their breeds.
A collective organisation working for the goal of genetic progress in livestock professions : Cattle, sheep and goat identification ; artificial insemination of cattle ; Parentage certification of cattle ; Performance recording of cattle ; Genetic evaluation of cattle ; Information System.
Thanks to its high genetic potential herd of 820,000 dairy goats, composed mainly of two internationally-recognized breeds (Alpine and Saanen), France is one of the world’s leading countries in terms of goat milk production.
Genetic improvement of both these breeds is based on a constantly updated breeding programme which results in breeders of very high genetic quality that meets the requirements of all industry players as well as those of our foreign partners.
(Leaflet 6 pages)
The French livestock is characterised by the diversity of the races which compose it. More than 10 meat breeds (Ile de France, Charollais, Berrichon du Cher, Rouge de l’Ouest, Vendéen, Texel, Suffolk, to name but a few) and prolific breeds (Romane ex-INRA 401), have value added characteristics as pure bred or terminal cross animals.
Additionally there are more than a dozen rustic breeds (Caussenarde du Lot, Blanche du Massif Central, Préalpes du Sud, Lacaune viande, etc.) making it possible to choose a breed to make the best of even the most difficult environments.
Genetic improvement of all these breeds rests on constantly improving selection programmes. These have provided a very high genetic quality reproductive stock which satisfies the requirements of all those involved in the sector.
(Leaflet 6 pages)
Over the past 10 years, genetic and phenotypic progress for ruminant species in France were remarkable. Production levels have continued to improve.
Thus, the phenotypic and genetic gains in milk production of the Holstein breed between 2005 and 2014 were respectively + 1296 kg + 952 kg.
Dairy sheep and goat breeds experienced the same dynamic.
These results, detailed in the leaflet, are explained by the quality of French breeding programs
European leader in cattle, sheep and goats farming, France is also ranking among the world’s leading producers of milk, meat and cheese thanks to the productivity of its farms, the quality of its products and the dynamism of its industries.
These results can be explained primarily by the remarkable richness of its genetic heritage. This place of France among the world leaders is also made possible by the continuous genetic improvement of these breeds. Thanks to the know-how of its farmers and the expertise available within of their technical organizations, they benefit from modern and efficient selection programs.
Their worldwide distribution is a recognition of their quality. Thanks to outstanding sanitary safety nets, many farmers worldwide have been long appreciating these breeds and continue to do so for they secure the competitiveness of their farms, the reputation of their products and the satisfaction of the consumer.
Publication of the UNCEIA
Since 2004, French bovine semen collection centers (SCC) have implemented a new system based on bar coding to identify and trace bovine semen straws. In 2012, 100% of the semen doses produced in France were identified this way.
Un levier efficace pour améliorer mes performances techniques et mes résultats économiques.
Un investissement rentable pour améliorer durablement le résultat technico-économique de mon atelier lait.
France has a rich and exceptional genetic diversity. This national asset has enabled achieving levels of productivity and genetic progress that put France among the world leaders for the rearing and breeding of ruminants.
For our foreign partners, this range of quality breeds is also a crucial advantage. It offers a wide palette of husbandry characteristics to meet the diversity of farmers’ objectives and rearing conditions as well as the needs of supply chains around the world.
(Leaflet 8 pages)
With 8.3 million heads of cattle, including 3.8 million dairy cows, France is the leader in dairy production in the European Union. The national herd includes a wide diversity of breeds, including the Prim’Holstein (2.5 million dairy cows), the Montbéliarde (665 000) and the Normande (426 000). Along with the Abondance, the French Simmental, the Pie-rouge des plaines, the French Brune and the Tarentaise, these eight breeds benefit from modern, effective breeding programmes, which produce significant and regular genetic advances.
The French national herd has an exceptional genetic range that meets the diverse needs of breeders, breeding situations and industry sectors. It includes both internationally significant breeds with high yield levels and breeds that are well adapted to difficult feeding and climate conditions.
(Leaflet 4 pages)
With 11.3 million heads, including 4.2 million cows, France has the largest national beef herd in the European Union. France is the cradle of specialized beef breeds of worldwide renown, such as the Charolaise (1.7 millions cows), the Limousine (1 million), the Blonde d’Aquitaine (526,000), the Maine-Anjou, the Parthenaise, and many others. Beyond outstanding purebreds qualities, they are equally remarkable in cross-breeding to improve beefing abilities of offspring from poor conformation cows.
This offer is rounded off by breeds with impressive hardiness and maternal qualities, such as Salers, Aubrac, Gasconne, that reveal their potential particularly well under tough farm conditions.
(Leaflet 4 pages)
The fact that France has successfully integrated genomics science into its selection programmes is a major technological leap forward. The size of the reference breed populations coupled with decade-long optimization of the scientific methods used enables robustly reliable genomics evaluations on every trait conventionally evaluated on progeny.
The value of this genotyping dataset can be further exploited to generate greater genetic progress, broader range of genetic offer and even sharper indexing of the functional traits. Genomics-enhanced evaluation therefore opens up new perspectives, including in terms of selecting for functional traits.
(Leaflet 6 pages)
Dairy cattle breeds
Beef cattle breeds
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