The trade in live cattle in France is growing steadily. Several types of cattle are exported mainly to third countries such as calves, wolves and dairy cows.
Exports of live cattle from France represent around 1.2 billion euros (in 2010). The total sales to third countries exceed 1% to 7% of the total export amount.
Light animals or animals of high individual value (breeding cattle) are exported more to third countries.
Italian fatteners ask exclusively for heavy wattles (+ than 300kg) from France. On the other hand, there are no demands for wattles from other parts of the world.
In European farms other than France, the category of wolves is hardly exported. However, slaughter cattle and dairy cows are affected by the lively export from Europe.
The important live cattle destinations in the world are Algeria, Lebanon and Turkey with 1.7million head in 2019. Towards the Middle East, European cattle destinations are diversifying into cattle and sheep, which simplifies the export process to these countries.
Animal welfare is paramount, which is why the export of live cattle on long journeys is complex.