Overview and assessment of support measures for endangered livestock breeds : Subsibreed : Final project report

Kompan, D.; Klopcic, M.; Martyniuk, E.; Hiemstra, S.J.; Hoving, A.H.


Livestock production has contributed to food security and economic development for thousands of years. Adaptation to wide range of environmental conditions and artificial selection has led to the development of numerous indigenous breeds that are part of the wealth of diversity in agriculture. They are producing a wide range of products for local and domestic consumption as well as for international trade. Livestock are for many local communities, invaluable sources of food and other products and essential sources of income. Maintaining the diversity of breeds in various species of domestic animals enables farmers and breeders to respond to ever changing consumer demands as well as changing production conditions, especially in light of climate change. No one can predict future demands and production conditions, and thus, maintaining the greatest diversity of animal genetic resources provides an insurance policy to enable necessary adaptation. Lack of appreciation for the need to maintain genetic diversity or inadequate farmer and breeder support programmes has resulted in the rapid global erosion of local breeds. Greater effort is required to stem this erosion.