The Charolais is an old French breed introduced to Australia in 1969 through semen imports from the United Kingdom and live animals from New Zealand. Muscling is long and smooth, producing large carcases that are lean and high yielding.
Charolais cattle are normally horned, but there are now increasing numbers of poll Charolais being bred. The coat colour is usually white, although colour grades of dark straw exist. The skin is corn coloured, ensuring a very low incidence of eye and skin problems. It is a hardy breed, giving good growth rates from birth in a wide range of climatic conditions. It has a quiet temperament.
Charolais are being used extensively in crossbreeding, both with Bos indicus cattle in northern Australia and Bos taurus cattle in southern regions. Charolais-cross calves are suited for both high quality pasture and the feedlot, while northern crossbreeds are sought after for the live export feeder cattle trade.