The Association for Breeding Lacaune Sheep in Bulgaria, having its seat and registered office address in the city of Plovdiv, 6 Slivnitsa Street, 6th floor, office 12, is an independent non-profit public-benefit legal entity, which has been established and performs its activities in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria and the provisions of the Bulgarian Non-profit Legal Entities Act.
The Association was registered with License No 253 of 28 July 2014 issued by Plovdiv Regional Court – Commercial Department, for the performance of breeding activity pursuant to the provisions of Article 20 of the Stock-breeding Act.
The Association for Breeding Lacaune Sheep in Bulgaria has set the following primary objectives, which underlie the Breeding Programme:
1. Ensuring the breed purity of the Lacaune breed in Bulgaria and improving its genetic progress.
2. Protection of the interests of the members in connection with the processes of selection, breeding and dissemination of animals from the Lacaune breed.
3. Provision of support, uniting and steering the efforts and the activities of the members of the Association for increasing the economic efficiency of raising animals from the Lacaune breed in the country.
4. Increasing the number of controlled animals from the Lacaune breed and expanding the interest of more stockbreeders towards further application and more precise implementation of the events included in the Breeding Programme and the instruction of 2014.
5. Exercising the control of the main selection character (milk yield) on as many animals as possible in the basic flocks in view of their gradual drawing closer and inclusion into the criteria of the selectionists.
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.