30 August 2002

Continental sires responsible for more British beef British beef is

CONTINENTAL sires are responsible for more than 85% of British beef, when pure dairy-bred animals are excluded from British Cattle Movement Service data.

Of the 1.43m animals born in 1999 and slaughtered at less than 30 months old, 29% were by Charolais sires, 27% by a Limousin and 16% by a Simmental, says MLC beef scientist Duncan Pullar.

Native British breeds accounted for 14%, with 9% of the total number slaughtered by a Aberdeen Angus sire, 4% by Hereford and 1% by a South Devon.

"Assuming an equal ratio of males and females at birth, the data also indicates that 26% of heifers born to beef sires were retained for breeding," says Dr Pullar. Limousins proved the most popular sire for replacements. &#42