French cattle numbers in November 2011 were down 3% year-on-year, with both dairy and beef herds back 1% and 2%, respectively. A 4% increase in adult cattle slaughter between January and November 2011 contributed to the decline.
Total cow slaughter increased 9% in the 11 months to November 2011, largely due to the culling of beef cows as a result of drought in the spring and lower profitability. The number of heifer replacements aged over two years was down 7%, indicating a further decline in cow numbers in 2012. The Institut de l’Elevage has predicted that female beef production is forecast to decline 5% in 2012.
Male cattle numbers decreased 4%, and consequently male cattle slaughter is likely to drop in the first half of 2012, with male beef production for 2012 forecast to fall by as much as 6% year-on-year.
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