French beef genetics to benefit from UK breed

A new agreement has been reached that will see UK cattle genetics used to enhance the French industry. 

The Stabiliser Cattle Company (SCC) has signed an agreement with French beef genetic co-operative Bovinext that will see the latter be the exclusive provider of Stabiliser genetics to French breeders.

The Stabiliser breed is known for its moderate and easy-calving frame. It also has high fertility and efficient feed conversion, which makes its genetics desirable on an international level.

Bovinext’s president Laurent Rouyer said that French farmers were aware that their animals were becoming too big for the market and were not delivering consistent meat that has high marble levels, for which there is growing consuming demand. Fifty breeders are supposedly already making plans to use Stabiliser semen and embryos.

The contract, which will initially last for a period of five years, aims to deliver genetics through semen sales and embryo transfers. The agreement will also see live cattle exports departing the UK, with the first set of breeding heifers leaving the UK for France in November.

Dr Duncan Pullar, SCC technical manager, said that French-born Stabiliser calves would be included in the UK estimated breeding values (EBVs) evaluation programme. This will ensure genetic progress continues and will enforce ongoing links with UK Stabilisers.

“Including the performance data generated in France in our UK evaluation, it is going to make a good project even stronger because French breeders will be able to compare their cattle with those in the UK and make good breeding decisions based on the same EBVs,” said Pullar.

SCC’s business development director Richard Fuller added that the agreement would increase future demand for UK beef genetics. “The potential in France is enormous for UK beef genetics by working with Bovinext’s million-cow network,” he said.

“French breeds swept into the UK in the 1960s and 1970s because they outperformed the native breeds on growth and yield. How exciting now that we can export Stabiliser beef cattle genetics that excel in growth, yield and eating quality to the French. We fully expect more demand for our genetics.”  

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