Société

Les races à viande dans le Massif central

Par Géraldine Marcon, France Bleu Creuse, France Bleu Limousin, France Bleu Pays d'Auvergne et France Bleu Saint-Étienne Loire mercredi 18 février 2015 à 6:00

Le Massif central est définitivement une terre d’élevage, plus de 80% des terres agricoles du territoire sont consacrées à cette activité. Et l’élevage de races à viande en est un pilier avec 43% des exploitations qui élèvent des vaches nourrices. Gros plan sur quatre de ces races, la charolaise, la limousine, l'aubrac et la salers, à l’occasion du Salon de l’agriculture 2015.

Le Massif central est en pointe en matière d’élevage et plus particulièrement pour les vaches allaitantes. Il concentre ainsi un tiers de la production française de femelles de boucherie avec une filière organisée ; sur 10 animaux élevés dans le Massif central, neuf y sont aussi abattus. La qualité est aussi au rendez vous, puisqu’un quart des exploitations en vaches allaitantes du territoire sont en Label rouge . A l’occasion du Salon de l’agriculture 2015, voici le portrait de quatre races à viande, les plus emblématiques du massif.   

Race charolaise

La charolaise a une robe claire, couleur crème, c'est d'ailleurs sa spécificité.  - Maxppp
La charolaise a une robe claire, couleur crème, c'est d'ailleurs sa spécificité. © Maxppp
  • C’est la première race bovine allaitante en France et en Europe . Originaire de la région de Charolles en Bourgogne, son élevage a véritablement pris son essor dans les années 50. C'est une race rustique (s’adapte bien aux différents milieux).- La charolaise est principalement vouée à la production de viande, une viande peu grasse et de bonne qualité gustative. Son atout c’est sa forte croissance , les animaux prennent en moyenne un kilo par jour pendant leurs 120 premiers jours.- Sa robe est claire, de couleur crème , une caractéristique de la charolaise puisqu’elle est liée à une mutation génétique propre à la race. - Deux Labels rouges existent pour sa viande : le charolais Label rouge et le charolais du Bourbonnais . Il y a également une appellation d'origine contrôlée  (AOC) pour le bœuf de Charolles.

Race limousine

La limousine a une robe froment, peu foncée.  - Maxppp
La limousine a une robe froment, peu foncée. © Maxppp
  • Cette race à viande par excellence est originaire de la région du Limousin à l’ouest du Massif central, c’est la deuxième viande bovine française en terme d’effectifs . C’est une race rustique avec de fortes qualités maternelles (facilité du vêlage, qualité de l’allaitement et facilité du sevrage…).- La limousine est très prisée pour sa viande très tendre et finement persillée.  Elle est de plus intéressante en boucherie puisque sa carcasse est composée à 75% de muscles .- Sa robe est froment vif , entre le marron et l'orangé. - La viande issue de la limousine a été la première en France à être distinguée par un Label rouge et en possède aujourd’hui trois qui représentent 25% de la viande bovine française sous ce label. Le bœuf du Limousin, le limousin junior et le veau fermier limousin , réunis sous la marque "blason prestige".

Race aubrac

L'aubrac vient du plateau du même nom au sud du Massif central. - Maxppp
L'aubrac vient du plateau du même nom au sud du Massif central. © Maxppp
  • La race aubrac est originaire du sud-est du Massif central. Au départ destinée à la production de lait pour le fromage qui se faisait en estive, l’aubrac a fortement décliné après la deuxième guerre mondiale avant les années 60 où ces laitières ont été réorientées vers la production de viande et de veaux. C'est une race rustique est facile à élever, elle nécessite peu d’intervention humaine et s’adapte aux conditions climatiques difficiles. L’aubrac a surtout de très bonnes qualités maternelles ; très féconde, 98% des vaches mises à la reproduction font un veau, elle vêle avec facilité et elle un bon allaitement jusqu’a la fin du sevrage.- Sa viande est naturellement persillée et tendre .- Sa robe va du gris blanc au brun orangé.- Deux démarches de valorisation de la viande issue de la race aubrac ont vu le jour le Label rouge bœuf fermier aubrac et l’indication géographique protégée (IGP) génisse fleur d’Aubrac  (pour les animaux issus d’un croisement avec un mâle charolais).

Race salers

La vache salers se distingue par sa robe acajou et ses cornes typiques.  - Maxppp
La vache salers se distingue par sa robe acajou et ses cornes typiques. © Maxppp
  • La salers est une race bovine très ancienne originaire du Cantal. Utilisée à l'origine pour la production de fromages et la traction animale, elle a été réorientée vers la production de viande dans les années 60. Aujourd'hui, 95% du troupeau est exploité en système allaitant . C’est une race rustique qui supporte très bien l'écart de température et d'altitude. - Les vaches salers font de bonnes mères, avec peu d'accidents de vêlage et une bonne capacité d’allaitement. C’est aussi une particularité de cette race puisque la présence du veau est indispensable pour récolter le lait . C’est lui qui amorce la traite et il doit rester auprès de sa mère pour qu’elle donne son lait. Une étude menée par l’Inra de Clermont-Ferrand en 2008 a d’ailleurs montré que "la traite des salers sans le veau provoque un tarissement précoce pour 30 % des animaux et l’obtention d’un lait plus riche en matières grasses pour 43 % des animaux". - Sa viande est très rouge, persillée, juteuse et savoureuse avec une très bonne qualité de grain. - La salers arbore une robe typique de couleur acajou foncé , à poil long et frisé une spécificité de la race. Son autre signe distinctif ce sont ses cornes, elles sont fines et grandes , de couleur claire en forme de lyre.- Un Label rouge pour la viande salers existe depuis 2004 et regroupe 300 éleveurs et la démarche "Bœuf du Cantal" identifie des viandes de qualité issues du berceau de la race.

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NE PAS UTILISER DANS UN ARTICLE ban agriculture massif central © Radio France
](http://www.francebleu.fr/liste/le-massif-central-au-salon-de-l-agriculture)