As a result of the extensive use of artificial insemination in sheep from the Lacaune breed in France (over 80%), the constant improvement of the Selection Programme and update of selection indexes, an exceptionally high annual genetic progress regarding milk yield has been registered for the breed, which has never been reached by any other sheep breed in the world – an average of 5.8 l. Therefore, the milk yield over a 20-year period of time has gone up by 110 l, with increased milk fat and milk protein average annual rates over the same period by 0.19 g/l and 0.16 g/l, respectively.
Over the last 30 years, the Lacaune breed has increased its popularity in a number of countries in the world (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Brazil, Tunisia, USA, Canada, Bulgaria, etc.), where it is used both in its pure state, and for crossbreeding local breeds.
The first import of animals from the Lacaune breed in Bulgaria was done in 2007. The imported animals (120 ewes and 5 rams) were settled in the region of Elhovo, in the stock of Dr Yanko Mitev, where over 400 pure-bred sheep with milk yield of over 300 l for lactation are being raised at the moment. A very strong interest in the Lacaune breed has been observed over the last years, as a result of which the import of breeding stock from France increases each year. In just a few years – from 2013-2014 until now, the number of sheep from this breed has increased several times.