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Simmental Française - cow - France

Simmental Française
(most common name)

(transboundary/brand name):
• Simmental
also named (English):
French Simmental
(historical breed name 1930–1959):
• Tachetée de l’Est (French)
• Eastern Spotted (English)
(historical breed name 1945–1992):
• Pie Rouge de l’Est (French)
• Eastern Red Pied (English)

Descending from herds thought to be brought by the Burgundians (Germanic people that invaded Gaul during the 5th century), cattle that became known as Comtoise developed over time in the French Comté.

The Comtoise consisted of three strains:
• the Tourache
• the Bressane
• the Fémeline

On a regular basis, Simmental cattle from Switzerland were crossed with the Tourache and the Bressane. By the 20th century this resulted in:
• the Tourache being transformed into the Gessienne (Gex).
• the Bressane being transformed into the Simmental d’Alsace (Alsatian Simmental).

Although most of the Fémeline was absorbed into the Montbéliarde, they were also absorbed, in part, by what finally became the Simmental Française.

The following name changes also occurred:
• 1930: A general herdbook was started in Dijon using the name Tachetée Rouge de l’Est (Eastern Red Spotted).
• 1945: The Gessienne and the Simmental d’Alsace were amalgamated as the Pie Rouge de l’Est (Eastern Red Pied).
• 1960: The name Tachetée Rouge de l’Est was dropped in favor of the name Pie Rouge de l’Est.
• 1993: Recognizing the domination of Simmental genetics in the breed and to avoid confusion with some other Red Pied breeds, the name was formally changed to Simmental Française (French Simmental).

From 1950–1980, the Simmental Française primarily used Simmental bulls from Switzerland for breeding. Since 1980, breeding Simmental bulls have been imported from Germany.

Two percent of the French population of Simmental Française possess a specific genetic feature known as translocation 1/29.

This page was last updated on: 2020-01-02

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