In Germany there are 4 million dairy cows. Almost 2.8 million cows are registered in the herd book and are used and traded as registered breeding animals. This makes them an important economic segment in the agricultural sector.
The most important dairy breed is the German Holstein cattle. Closely related are the Red Holsteins, which differ in coat colour and performance from the black and white-coloured German Holstein cattle. Less common but still popular breeds are the German Red Cattle / Angler and the Jersey.
Other important dairy breeds such as the German Fleckvieh/Simmental and the Brown Swiss (Braunvieh) are listed as dual-purpose breeds. In addition to milk production, they are also of greater importance for fattening cattle specifically and thus for meat production.