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Report: African, Asian, Latin American farm animals face extinction
Date:9/3/2007

anted by Holstein-Friesians, which produce much more milk. During a recent drought, some farmers that had kept their hardy Ankole were able to walk them long distances to water sources while those who had traded the Ankole for imported breeds lost their entire herds.

Ser notes that exotic animal breeds offer short-term benefits to their owners because they promise high volumes of meat, milk, or eggs, but he warned that they also pose a high risk because many of these breeds cannot cope with unpredictable fluctuations in the environment or disease outbreaks when introduced into more demanding environments in the developing world.

Cryo-banking Sperm and Eggs Scientists and conservationists alike agree that we cant save all livestock populations. But ILRI has helped lay the groundwork for prioritizing livestock conservation efforts in developing regions. Over the past six years, it has built a detailed database, called the Domestic Animal Genetic Resources Information System (DAGRIS), containing research-based information on the distribution, characteristics, and status of 669 breeds of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens indigenous to Africa and Asia.

Ser proposes acceleration of four practical steps to better manage farm animal genetic resources.

  1. A first strategy is to encourage farmers to keep genetic diversity on the hoof, which means maintaining a variety of indigenous breeds on farms. In his speech, Ser called for the use of market-incentives and good public policy that make it in the farmers self-interest to maintain diversity.
  2. Another way to encourage ?keeping it on the hoof, Ser said, is by allowing greater mobility of livestock breeds across national borders. When it comes to livestock, farmers have to move it or lose it,? he said. Wider distribution of breeds and access to them makes it less likely that particular breeds and populations will be wiped out by fluctuations in the market, civil strife,
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Contact: Jeff Haskins
jhaskins@burnesscommunications.com
254-729-871-422
CGIAR
Source:Eurekalert

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