Animal Breeding and Production

The causes and definition of endangerment in FAnGR

Perhaps the self-congratulation of organisations in the developed world, citing the avoidance of breed extinction in the latter part of the twentieth century, is premature. The series of disease outbreaks since the 1990s puts the security of native breeds in a different context. Loss of animals from disease and from rigorous biosecurity control measures, and loss of owners capitulating in the tightening grip of bureaucracy, is raising the survival stakes in a manner we have not seen for several decades. The threats to native breeds must be identified and quantified, and solutions must be developed and implemented. Lawrence Alderson

Grazing livestock and greenhouse gases in the UK
Livestock have been identified as significant contributors to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), and policies adopted by some authorities have discriminated against them for this reason as the UK seeks to meet the targets of the Kyoto Agreement. Analysis of available data shows that, while some livestock production systems can be implicated, grazing livestock in the UK on non-intensive systems of production make a negligible contribution to GHG emissions. On the contrary, native breeds of livestock contribute positively to society in many ways. Their local adaptation is realised beneficially on pastureland which sequesters carbon and in conservation grazing where there are associated benefits for biodiversity, and they have an obvious cultural value through their association with history and heritage. Therefore, the focus of GHG policy should be on agricultural processes that use fossil fuels and contribute to deforestation and ploughing up of pasture, rather than on livestock which utilize non-intensive grazing. Lawrence Alderson