Brava Cattle: Characteristics, Uses & Breed Information

The Brava cattle are a breed of domestic beef cattle which are raised mainly for meat production, and also used for bull fighting.

It was originated from France and raised mainly in the Camargue, the delta of the Rhône in southern area. It is bred specifically for bull-fighting either Spanish-style or Portuguese-style.

The breed is one of the two cattle breeds kept in semi-feral conditions in the Camargue. Other breed is the Raço di Biòu or Camargue breed. Although the Camargue cattle breed is not a fighting breed but it is used in a bloodless bull-sport, the course camarguaise.

The Brava cattle actually derives from the Iberian fighting cattle which were imported in the nineteenth century.

The breed is also known by some other names such as Brave, Espagnole Brava and Race de Combat. Joseph Yonnet who was a breeder first introduced the breeding stock of the Iberian fighting bulls to France in 1869, and there were no further such imports until 1975.

A breed society for the Brava was established in 1920, and a herdbook for the breed was established in the year of 1996. Total population of the Brava cattle was estimated at 5950 in 2004.

But the number was reported to be 3275 in 2014. Currently the breed is distributed to the Camargue, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Petite Camargue and Occitanie. Read more information of this cattle breed below.

Brava Cattle Characteristics

Brava cattle are smaller sized animals. They are variable in color, but most often uniformly black. Both bulls and cows usually have horns. Their horns are large and forward pointing.

The horns are creamy grey at the base and usually dark at the tips. Their mucous membranes are dark. As a smaller sized animal average body height of the cows is around 115 cm, and around 125 cm for the bulls.

The mature bulls on average weight around 400 kg. And the mature cows on average weight around 250 kg. Photo from Kranky Kids and info from Wikipedia.


The Brava cattle are principally bred for the bull-ring. But they are also used as a beef breed and used for meat production.

Special Notes

Brava cattle are very hardy animals. They are kept in manades, and usually herded by the mounted gardians. Although the breed is principally used for the bull-ring, but they are also pretty good for meat.

Meat of the Brava, along with that of the Raço di Biòu and crosses between the two, can under strict conditions of pasturage and of zone and methods of production be marketed with the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée certification of origin as “Taureau de Camargue”; animals that have appeared in the bull-ring are excluded. However, review full breed profile of the Brava cattle in the following chart.

Breed NameBrava
Other NameBrave, Espagnole Brava and Race de Combat
Breed PurposeMainly bull fighting, also meat
Special NotesStrong, well adapted to local climates, good for meat
Breed SizeSmall
BullsAround 400 kg
CowsAround 250 kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Coat ColorVariable, but most often uniformly black in color
Milk YieldPoor
Country/Place of OriginFrance

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