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The History of the International Limousin Council

by James Maxwell

I was pleased to be asked by the 14th ILC Council meeting of 2000 in France to present an outline history of the ILC not only because of my involvement with the breed since its arrival in Australia but also in recognising that due to a series of coincidences of history because of early interest by English and French scientists and explorers in late 18th century, such as James Cook, Joseph Banks, Nicholas Baudin, La Perouse, Matthew Flinders and others in Terra Australis; we could just as easily have become a colony of France, rather than of England.

However France was somewhat pre-occupied with a revolution, followed by wars in Europe and whilst greatly interested in continuing discovery in the South Pacific, territorial expansion was at that time of secondary consideration.

Britain, also interested in discovery in this little known land, had in addition, a great need for the setting up of a site for a penal colony to relieve the pressures occasioned by the increasing number of criminals, requiring additional accommodation in gaols and prison hulks already overcrowded throughout England.

And so it came to pass that with the arrival in 1788 from England of the First Fleet with its soldiers, prisoners and cargo of requirements for setting up a colony, the livestock was of English origin, Shorthorn, Hereford and Angus etc. and the French breed of Limousin did not arrive until 185 years later.

Similar twists of history could be related, I realise, by Canadian, Arcadians and the southern portions of the U.S. e.g. Louisiana.

The Vision Splendid - The International Limousin Council

Globalisation so widely recognised in 2002 was an unfamiliar term in 1973 when the inaugural meeting was held in France, but long had it been the concept and a dream in the mind of leading Limousin breeder from Limoges, Louis de Neuville. This visionary who had such strong beliefs in the merits and unique characteristics of this French beef breed of special eating qualities, originating in the south-west of France in the area known as the Limousin region, soon became known as "Mr Limousin", as he widely travelled the world, enthusiastically extolling and promoting the virtues of this hardy, rustic breed, only little known outside France.

In this resume of the history of the ILC, I will not presume to more than outline and set a framework to which each country can contribute its own specialised activities in detail, by way of the Information Super Highway now existing, "The Web".

From Whence and How our Modern Limousin Originated

Reference by way of background regarding breed development should certainly also be accorded to a range of other far-sighted individuals of the past who saw the need for the setting of breed standards from which to base high selection criteria for the future.

Their efforts, together with Government Agriculture Services led to the formation by Royal Charter of the Haute Vienne Agricultural Society on December 17, 1758 and which was apparently regarded as the doyen of Agricultural Societies at that time.

Subsequent developments resulting from attention to breeding, feeding, economies of production, carcase quality and marketing, led to evolution of co-operative groups forming in the region and research into optimising performance of the Herd being recorded.

Charles de Leobardy who was a most active breeder and instigator of these principles, strongly supported by M. Reclus, Professor of Agriculture of the Haute Vienne, proposed the setting up of the Limousin Herd Book, which occurred November 18, 1886.

Just 200 years later in December 1959 a group was formed in Limoges to apply objective evaluation procedures to determine fertility, regularity of calving, milk production, calf growth rate, feed conversion, tenderness and eating quality of the beef leading to the performance recording of individuals in the herd. Also to determine whether Limousin was in fact different, as they thought was the case.

The group headed by Louis de Neuville with the acronym of CETA-CENTRE DETUDE TECHNICAL AGRICOLE reached the conclusion that Limousin had characteristics of meat quality, with higher yielding carcases that gave them a market niche on which to focus since they could not hope to compete with the beef volume markets of Canada, USA, Argentina, Australia etc with their extensive land holdings and production programs.

As part of the progression, CETA evolved then into another group in 1964 of some 17 selected Limousin breeders regarded as leaders by virtue of the overall quality and performance of their herds totalling almost 2000 registered cows.

Their cattle had to perform outside, in all weathers and seasons to demonstrate hardiness and natural efficiency.

Known as ELPA (ELEVAGE LIMOUSIN PLEIN AIR) this composite group provided many of the cattle early exported in the 1970’s around the world.

With these foundations having being achieved, logical then, was the next step to the formation of the International Limousin Council, made up of Limousin Societies around the world, with the simple goals as outlined in the invitation extended for the Inaugural meeting in September 1973.

The purpose and objectives of the ILC are not to form an international club of far-away friends, but to:

a) coordinate international research and promotion,

b) encourage uniform recording and registration policies,

c) award efforts that have been made for the benefit of the Limousin breed, both on an international and domestic basis.

ILC Conferences have been held as follows:


ILC Conference Reports

1973 Limoges, France

The following press release was made after the foundation meeting of the ILC in 1973.

18 September 1973

Limoges - An International Limousin Council was formed here yesterday by more than 220 delegates and visitors who met to initiate a world-wide research and information program that would maintain Limousin cattle as one of the most efficient beef producing breeds in the world today.

Louis de Neuville, Limoges, France, newly elected President of the group, said the organisation would work together on a global basis and utilize the most modern scientific techniques to provide Limousin breeders in every nation in the world with genetic information that would be both practical and profitable to cattle producers.

The council is made up of representatives from 18 different countries where national Limousin breeders organisations have been formed to register both pure and crossbred Limousin cattle.

The following countries were represented at the meetings: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, France, Holland, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States.

Other officers named at the initial conference included: Mr Sherman Ewing, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, first vice president; Mr A.J.R. Yencken, Melbourne, Australia; Mr Victor Timmermans, Holland and Mr Anthony Stone, also of Limoges, France, as secretary.

The International Limousin Council is considered unique in the livestock world because it is set up on a world wide centre for the exchange of research information on performance, carcase and management information for one breed - the French Limousin.

Mr Jacques Poly, director of the French National Livestock Research Centre at Jouy en Josas, said that there was a gap between technical data coming from Research Centre and the application of this material in the livestock industry.

Mr Poly was made chairman of a technical advisory committee which included Mr William S. Dameron, Salida, Colorado, USA; Mr Dieter Jobst, Hampton Court, England; Dr Gunther Rahnefeld, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada and Mr Sherman Ewing.

A second committee for reporting and distributing this data to the world was named the Communications Committee and Mr John Yencken of Australia was elected chairman of this group. He is also president of the Australian Limousin Breeders’ Society.

This committee includes Mr Jack Bedell, co-chairman of the committee and president of the British Limousin Society; Mr Robert Vantrease, executive vice-president of the North American Limousin Foundation; Mr Ted Godwin, president of the Canadian Limousin Association and Baron de Wykerslooth of Brussels, Belgium.

Mr Gunther Rahnefeld, director of the Brandon Research Centre, Manitoba, Canada was the principal speaker on the Council program and presented a technical paper on comparative performance research work being conducted in Canada on Limousin, Charolais and Simmental breeds when used in a crossbreeding program on Hereford, Angus and Shorthorn cows.

He said the data in Canada verified the lower feed conversion ratio of the Limousin breed and the excellent carcase quality of the crossbred being tested there. The Limousin cattle had a higher percentage of lean meat to live weight and they also averaged better in calving ease with a smaller birth weight than Charolais or Simmental crossbreds, he added.

Dr Rahnefeld also stressed the need for more widespread data on sire evaluation and additional emphasis on selection for rate of gain in crossbred Limousin herds.

Mr Dieter Jobst, London, England made the report for the technical committee at the close of the meeting and said that the group had decided on a three part program that would (1) begin to assemble all research data now available on the breed in each country, (2) gather information on all the various evaluation system now in use in various countries and try to devise a standardized data guide that would allow cross-comparison of information so that material could be reduced to some common conclusion, and (3) find out what facilities are available and what projects are now under way in each country.

He stressed the fact that all research and planned breeding programs should seek to first maintain the high production level of the Limousin under different conditions around the world, and then utilize new techniques of genetic data processing to develop planned improvement and selection guidelines.

On summarizing the results of the conference, Mr de Neuville said the council should strive to work in a simple and direct manner, to be factual and to offer information that is practical and profitable to the breeder.

He added that the Communication Committee planned to report these findings as rapidly as possible to each national organization and to give each country the best possible direction and assistance in the use of the breed to fit each marketing area of the world.


1975 Oklahoma City, USA

Proceedings may be available from NALF, USA.

1977 Limoges, France

The Third General Assembly of the International Limousin Council was held in Limoges, France, during the second week of September.

Held biennially the Council had as its theme "the added value of breeding with Limousin".

Many papers on technical and economic matters gave details on the breed’s advantages both in pure and crossbreed situations.

Delegates were present from 22 countries. The assembly was held at the Club Mediternanée at Pompadour in the heart of the beautiful Limousin region of France.

Great interest was expressed in cattle prices of the various countries from a high of US$580 for a 280 kg weaner bull calf sold in France to Italian fatteners to the low prices Australian breeders receive. Argentinian breeders told of their very unusual problems due to the country’s staggering rate of inflation. There are signs, though, that it is being controlled, having dropped in twelve months from 600% to 100% per annum.

During the assembly, the Council voted to increase research into technical and economic matters at all levels, particular emphasis to be placed on the collation of data from government research centres around the world.

To maintain balance on the policy-making body for the breed, the International Limousin Council (ILC) elected to its membership representatives from Australasia, the United Kingdom, Argentina, France, the US and Canada.

At the conclusion of the assembly, delegates were invited to a soiree at the chateau of the out-going President Louis de Neuville. At his "Domaine de Combas", Limousin delegates were treated to an evening of Limousin beef and Limousin music played on the grounds of the chateau by a band of local musicians. Wine from several countries was served, Australians providing wine from the Coriole vineyards in the McLaren Valley, South Australia.

The assembly terminated with a concourse of cattle held in Limoges. Altogether 500 purebreds were placed into competition.

Mr Jock Makin, the Australian Limousin Breeders’ Society Foundation President was honoured by the award of a "Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole", presented to him by the French Minister of Agriculture Mr Mehaignerie.

Also honoured were other Limousin pioneers from around the world: Dick Goff (USA), Asgar Truelsen (Denmark), Victor Timmermans (Holland), Jack Bedell (Great Britain).

The new International Limousin President elected was Mr Floyd McGown of San Antonio, Texas.


1979 Argentina

Proceedings may be available from the Limousin Society of Argentina.

1981 Stratford on Avon, United Kingdom

Proceedings available in a booklet entitled "5th World Limousin Conference, 1981". Original copy held by the British Limousin Cattle Society.

Hosted by Peter Cullen, Chairman of the British Limousin Cattle Society in the year of its 10th birthday was marked by a distinct leap forward for British Limousin exports.

"There is no doubt", wrote Dieter Jobst in his book Limousin Cattle in the UK "that the occasion had brought together old friends, opened up doors to new friends, stimulated business at home and left the British cattle industry in no doubt about the impact of the Limousin Breed."

"Beef Today and the Year 2000" was the conference theme presented by a range of international speakers to some 300 attendees from 17 countries in Stratford on Avon.

Dalgety Meat in conjunction with the Meat and Livestock Commission provided a most impressive display of carcase types of past years with considerable fat content and leading up to the present British X Continental leaner kind of beef increasingly sought by the market.

A team of some 300 Limousin cattle pure and crossbred was presented by breeders for some 26 competitive classes made a splendid spectacle.

The ILC Champions:

Supreme – Octobre; Male Champion – Octobre; and Female Champion – Lavande, exhibited by Mr & Mrs G King-Forster.

Supreme Commercial Champion, Female Commercial Champion, exhibited by G Otterburn.

Male Commercial Champion, exhibited by H.G. Dickens.

The Congress Sale

The atmosphere was positively electric at Stoneleigh, homeground of Britain’s Royal Agricultural Show with spirited bidding handled by auctioneer John Thornborrow long associated with Limousin, in his best professional manner.

Top price of 13,000 pounds set a new record for Limousin with the purchase of "Harvest Olympus" sired by Wintershall Jupiter from Alan Fotheringham of Scotland by Jim McBride and colleagues from Texas taking a share in the bull.

British President Peter Cullen was happy to report that according to the latest English Milk Marketing Board beef insemination figures, Limousin had shown a huge gain in the April-June period, 1981 and was now sitting 3rd after Hereford and Charolais and having pushed Angus into 4th place.

"Limousin was an outstanding carcase performer in the early evaluation trials" said Dr David Allen head of the Meat and Livestock Commission Beef Improvement Services, "and it has gone on in the market place where it has shown great advantages of a high killing-out percentage as well as a clear edge in the high priced cuts and overall saleable meat yields".

1984 Rotorua, New Zealand

Papers from the Technical Conference may be available from the Limousin Beef Breeders of New Zealand.

1986 France

Original copy of the Annals of the 1986 Conference held by the Australian Limousin Breeders’ Society.

1988 Australia

Technical Conference Proceedings and Annals of the 1988 Conference held by the Australian Limousin Breeders’ Society.

1990 Denmark

Technical Conference Papers

Comparison of Breeding Values across Borderlines, Dr B. Bech Andersen, DK Nat. Inst. Anim. Science.

Trade of Genetic Material across Borderlines, (a) Semen, Dr J.B. Andersen, DK State Veterinary Services. (b) Embryos, Dr M. Thibier, Director, Lab. for supervision of Breeding Animals.

Marketing High Quality Beef (a) The Industry’s Approach, Managing Director, H.R. Thomsen, HD, DK Danish Livestock and Meat Board. (b) Use of Special Brands in Marketing, Louis de Neuville, France.

Beef in Human Nutrition, Ph.D. Torkild Liboriussen, DK Nat. Inst. Anim. Science.

Copies of papers presented at this Conference are available from the Danish Limousin Society.

1992 USA

The 1992 ILC Conference is very well documented in the booklet "1992 World Limousin Cattle Conference" held by the North American Limousin Foundation.

Technical Conference Papers

The basics of National Cattle Evaluation Limousin Breed EPDs, Dr Larry Benyshek, USA.

Scrotal Circumference of Limousin Cattle, Dr Ronnie Green, USA.

Carcase and Palatability Traits: Opportunities for Genetic Documentation, Dr Daryl Tatum, USA.

Commercial Application of DNA Technology, Dr Joseph Massey, USA.

Protoporphyria in Limousin Cattle, Project Update, Dr Roger Dean, USA.

Review of Research Sponsored by the North American Limousin Foundation, Dr Kent Andersen, USA.

Calf Shape and Dystocia - an update, Jean-Noel Bonnet, France.

Identification of Limousin Beef through DNA Analysis, Louis de Neuville, France.

Association of Beef Carcase Muscularity with Muscle to Bone Ration, Randy Williams, USA.

Meat Quality: Basis for Variability, Dr Christian Vallin, France.

Lim Elite Sire Testing Scheme, Peter Reynolds and Richard Beale, UK.

Canadian Limousin Research Update, Susan Jones and Paula de Roge, Canada.

Disposition Research, Jean-Noel Bonnet, France.

1994 Ireland

The proceedings of the 1994 Conference are stored in electronic form by Nicholas and Barbara Grubb at the Irish Limousin Cattle Society.

Technical Conference Papers

International Genetic Comparison of Limousin Cattle, Jean-Noel Bonnet, France.

The Irish National Beef Cattle Improvement Programme, A.J. Grogan, Ireland.

Growth and Efficiency of Cattle of Different Breed Types with particular reference to Limousin, M.G. Keane, Ireland.

Limousin - the Carcase Breed, David Allen, UK.

Breed Effects and Retained Heterosis for Growth Carcase and Meat Traits in Advanced Generations of Composite Populations of Beef Cattle, K.E. Gregory et al., USA.

Breed Effects, Dietary Energy Density Effects and Retained Heterosis on Different Measures of Gain Efficiency in Beef Cattle, K.E. Gregory et al., USA.

The Effect of Mating Bulls and Cows with either Similar or Different EPDs on the Variation of the Future Offspring of Limousin Cattle, K.D. Bullock et al., USA.

Effects of Selection for Scrotal Circumference in Limousin Bulls on Reproductive and Growth Traits of Progeny, D.W. Mason et al., USA.

Bloodtyping Pedigree Cattle - the Benefits to the Breeder, Dr E. Kelly., Ireland.

Limousin Linear Assessment in Ireland.

1996 Zimbabwe

Proceedings of the Technical Conference are available from the Limousin Breed Society of Zimbabwe.

Technical Conference Papers

An Introduction to the Environment and Beef Production in Southern Africa, D.M. Gammon.

Animal Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa with an emphasis on the Zimbabwe Situation, Dr S Hargreaves.

Meat Quality from a Zimbabwean Viewpoint, P.R. Hatendi.

Indigenous Breeds of Southern Africa and their role, H.P.R. Tawanezvi.

Meat Marketing - The Zimbabwean Perspective, L. Masanga.

The Role of the Limousin Breeding Female in Southern Africa, J de W. Tiffin and D.H. Holness.

1998 Brazil

No proceedings were printed - papers may be available from the country of origin.

Technical Conference

Bovine Meat Composition, Profitability and Quality, Dr Daryl Tatum, USA.

Profitability and Quality in the Comparison of Limousin and Nelore, Dr Marcos Frank Pinto, Brazil.

Limousin Research in the USA, Dr Kent Andersen, USA.

Limousin Research in Australia, Alex McDonald, Australia.

Limousin Research in Canada, Geoff Barker, Canada.

Limousin Research in France, Hervé Chapelle, France.

Presentation of the ILC Genetics Catalogue, Jean-Noel Bonnet, France.

Award to Louis de Neuville

Some 25 years later on the occasion of the 13th ILC Conference in Brazil appropriate and official recognition was accorded Louis de Neuville for his continuing efforts in promoting and expanding the Limousin breed globally.

A resolution that had been signed by all countries in attendance was read as follows:

Whereas, Monsieur Louis de Neuville has spent his lifetime marketing Limousin genetics throughout the world, and:

Whereas, Louis de Neuville has personally influenced Limousin breeding programs around the world by his devotion to individual breeders and the Limousin family, and;

Whereas Monsieur de Neuville, conceived, built and nurtured the International Limousin Council, and:

Whereas Louis de Neuville served as Chairman of the ILC for 25 years, and:

Whereas, Louis de Neuville has never wavered in his passion and enthusiasm for the Limousin breed and its breeders;

Therefore, be it resolved that Louis de Neuville receive an acclamation for his lifetime achievements, and be it further resolved that he receive the title: Chairman Emeritus of the International Limousin Council.

2000 France

Technical Program

Contribution of ICAR for an International Genetic Evaluation in Beef Breeds, Dr Hans Jurgen Schild, Germany.

Update of ILC Educational Sires Breeding Values Common Catalogue (Genetic Evaluations carried out around the World in the Limousin Breed), Hervé Chapelle, France.

International Beef Cattle Genetic Evaluation, Dr Larry Benyshek, USA.

Possible Contribution of the new Knowledge of DNA Bovine MAP to the Genetic Improvement of the Limousin Breed, Dr Geoff Simms, UK.

Research Update.

Comparison of Limousin with British, Continental and Tropical Breeds in Australia, Alex McDonald, Australia.

Comparison of Feed Intake and Milk Yield of Limousin, Simmental and Hereford Cows in Denmark, Anton Birk-Jensen, Denmark.

Improving the Genetics of Reproductive Traits Defining Reproduction, Kent Andersen, USA.

Prototype EPDs for Calving Ease in Limousin Cattle, Kent Andersen, USA.

Mature Weight, Height and Condition Score in Limousin Cattle, Kent Andersen, USA.

Ultrasound Scanning for Carcase Traits in Limousin Cattle, Kent Andersen, USA.

Muscular Characteristics and Meat Qualities of Limousin Cattle, P Picard, France.

Genetic Variability of Beef Meat Quality Special Focus on Marbling in Relationship with the Metabolism of Bovine Muscle Fibres and Intramuscular Adipocytes.

Temperament and Docility in Limousin Cattle, Pierre Neidre et al., France.

Validation of DNA Markers and Development of Genetic Predictors for Tenderness in Limousin Cattle, Kent Andersen, USA.

A first Genotyping Assay of French Cattle Breeds based on a new Allele of the Extension Gene Encoding the Melancortin –1 Receptor, Francois Rouzard et al, France.

2002 Canada

The International Limousin Conference held in Calgary, Canada was attend by almost 400 people from 17 countries (674 attended the whole conference).

Countries Represented

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Caledonia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA.

Annual General Meeting

The following office bearers were elected at the ILC AGM for a two year period.

President: Beppe Pantaleoni (Italy)

Secretary/Treasurer: Alex McDonald (Australia)

Executive: Kent Anderson (USA)

Sebastien Stamane (France)

Wilson Brochmann (Brazil)

Iain Kerr (United Kingdom)

The ILC is in a strong financial position.

Balances held in the three ILC accounts as at 31st May 2002.

New England Credit Union, Armidale, Australia. $4,949.55 Aust.

Wells Fargo Bankwest, Denver, USA $21,142 US.

Bank of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, USA $60,011.23 US.

Note: The investment in the Oklahoma Bank is the result of an exceptional contribution made to the ILC by the French Government in 1973 of 300,000 Francs (approx. $50,000 US).

The membership fee for 2003/2004 was set at $100 Aust.

A decision was made to employ a student on a project basis to build up the technical section of the ILC website.

A decision was also made to increase the interchange between executive officers from the various countries by:

1. Establishment of an email group to facilitate discussion on issues of common interest between executive officers.

2. A meeting of executive officers and chairmen will be held at the 2004 Conference to discuss issues of common interest including:

- web based registration systems.

- DNA typing using an international standard system.

- marketing programs for Limousin.

- disease protocols.

- export certificates/country of origin recording

- ownership of cloned semen/embryos

2006 Conference

Australia was voted to host the 2006 ILC Conference by a vote of 15 votes to 3. Mexico was the other candidate.

Technical Conference

The program for the technical conference was as follows:

  • Vertical Integration of the Limousin Business, Kym Anthony, Canada.
  • Comparison of Limousin X Nellore and Nellore, Dr Marco Pinto, Brazil.
  • Limousin in Australia, Alex McDonald, Australia.
  • Limousin in the USA, Kent Andersen, USA.
  • Advances on Breeding Technology in the past and the future, Brian Shea, Canada.
  • What Business are you in? Bob Church, Canada.
  • Limousin in the UK, Iain Kerr, United Kingdom.

Highlights included:

* A vertically integrated paddock to plate operation in Ontario, Canada.

* Paper by Dr Pinto of Brazil which highlighted the increase in the proportion of hindquarter cuts when Limousin are crossed with Nellore (Bos Indicus) cattle.

* A look into the future impact of genetic technologies such as cloning of adults, DNA marker and semen sexing, by Dr Brian Shea of Alta Genetics.

* The positive impact of the swing to "case ready" product in the USA due to the increased emphasis on red meat yield.

* The impact of animal welfare and environmental issues on beef production in the future.

* A plea to the French by Alex McDonald to provide a docility evaluation on AI bulls made available on the international market (received strong support from other countries).

* The dominance of Limousin in the UK seedstock and commercial sectors.

A number of country reports were included in the proceedings of the conference. Some highlights were:

* The growth of Limousin in Denmark and the success of their branded product.

* The amazing success of Limousin in the Canadian Western Agribition Carcase Competition with 26 wins in 26 years.

* The ability of Limousin to increase the productivity of the Chinese beef herd of 110 million cattle.

* The growth of Limousin in Germany from 380 breeders with 4,280 registrations in 1992 to 615 breeders and over 10,000 registrations in 2001. (They expect to overtake Charolais in the near future to become the largest beef breed in Germany.)

* The rapid growth of Limousin in Ireland since 1986 which will "inevitably lead to them becoming the leading beef breed" in the near future.

* Limousin is now the third largest breed by registrations and the most widely used breed for AI in the dairy industry and the number of semen straws exported in Italy.

* The growing influence of Limousin in Mexico.

* Continued expansion of Limousin in South Africa.

* The plight of farmers in Zimbabwe.

Copies of complete technical papers and country reports are available from the ALBS office.

The Canadian Beef Industry

The Canadian beef cattle herd is 12.9 million which produced 3.5 billion pounds of beef (1,590,000 tonnes) with an average carcase weight of 821 lbs (373 kg). Most young cattle are finished in feedlots in Canada and the USA. Beef and live cattle are exported to the USA, Mexico, Japan and Asian countries. Beef is imported from USA, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Limousin is the fifth largest breed behind Angus, Charolais, Simmental and Hereford.

Stewart Farms, Alberta

This large cropping and cattle operation runs 300 registered breeders and about 1200 commercial cows of which 300 are Angus and the remaining 900 are high content Limousin cows. They were owners of the well known French bull Pub and bred Venture which was widely used in Australia.

The herd was generally moderate framed, well muscled cattle run under commercial conditions. They have a 1,000 head feedlot in which we saw high content Limousin steers and heifers on feed.

The steers which will dress up to and over 400 kg carcase weight will be sold by tender either by live weight or carcase weight. If sold by carcase weight they will be graded on the Canadian grading system which includes a grade of A, AA or AAA for marbling. Interestingly there is no premium for either AA or AAA marbling levels.

ILC No Boundaries Sale

A record breaking sale of outstanding Limousin bulls and females was held during the ILC Conference.

The top priced female sold for a Canadian all breeds record of $80,000 and the top priced bull sold for $63,000.

The sale of 34 lots grossed $505,500 and averaged $14,808.

The cattle on offer were moderate framed, well muscled, productive cattle (not the high frame score leggy cattle that Canadian Limousins have a reputation for being).


Highlands Sale

A private sale of mainly breeding females was held by the Highland Limousin Stud near Calgary. This sale was also very successful with a complete clearance of 45 lots for a gross of $233,750 and an average of $5,194

Top priced female was a red polled six year old Wulfs Dawson daughter at $10,000. A half share in the six month old black bull calf of this cow sold for $12,000.

A flush of four pregnancies or 20 embryos from the black and polled cow ANLC Kaitlan sold for $11,500.

Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede has been run since 1912 and is now an internationally recognised event. Run over 10 days the main features are the rodeo with buck jumping, bare back riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, wold horse riding, wild cow milking and women’s barrel racing, the chuck wagon races held each evening and a world class stage show held each evening on an outdoor stage.

The chuck wagon racing is very competitive with 36 teams competing for the overall prize of $50,000.

In addition there are a series of cattle breed shows held over the 10 days.

A Limousin steer was the champion steer on hoof. The Limousin show featured 220 entries and highlighted the difference in type of Canadian Limousin compared with the type favoured in France and other European countries.

The Canadian Limousin are moderately muscled, medium to large framed black and apricot cattle (in about equal proportions) with a considerable emphasis on structural soundness and walking ability.

The European countries favour large heavily muscled apricot Limousins with less emphasis on structural soundness.


Polledness was an issue of considerable discussion. Canada has a high proportion of polled cattle including some polled full blood (French pure) cattle.

It is of note that all Canadian full blood cattle have been parent verified since their introduction so the polled gene appears to have occurred by natural mutation.

Canadian polled full blood genetics have recently been used in France, Denmark and Germany which all have French pure Limousin herds. There is still controversy in France as to whether the polled cattle will be registered. The Canadian polled full blood bull 1-Way Polled Justice is currently available in Australia.

Trading in Genetics

There was considerable trading in genetics at the OLC Conference with the opportunity to see some of the Canadian cattle first hand.

Representatives from AI companies in France, UK and Brazil attended the conference. Individual breeders from Canada, USA and Australia were also active in marketing their genetics.

History of the ILC

The first ILC Conference was held in 1973 and the Calgary Conference was the 15th ILC Conference.

A history of the ILC has been written by James Maxwell of Australia and will shortly be posted on the ILC web site.

International Genetic Evaluation

There is considerable interest in international genetic evaluations for the Limousin breed.

Combined analysis currently performed are Australia/New Zealand, and USA/Canada.

A research project is currently underway to undertake a European analysis including France, UK, Ireland, Italy and possibly Germany.

The most obvious step for ALBS is to do a combined analysis with USA, Canada and possibly Brazil. This issue will be progressed through the ILC.


All of the above papers are available on the International Limousin web site under Technical.


I would like to acknowledge and thank Alex McDonald Australian Limousin Breeders’ Society General Manager and ILC Secretary/Treasurer not only, for the invaluable help he has given me in compiling this ILC history and putting it on "the web" but also for his unceasing efforts to facilitate communication between ILC member countries and so advance the Limousin breed globally.


Any additions or corrections to this short history should be emailed to Alex McDonald at


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