This report covers the state of agricultural biodiversity in the livestock sector, livestock sector trends, capacities in animal genetic resource management, the management of animal genetic resources, and needs and challenges. The report was adopted by the First International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources on 1-7 September 2007 in Interlaken, Switzerland. Section 1C, on flows of animal genetic resources, was prepared by LPP’s Evelyn Mathias, Ilse Koehler-Rollefson and Paul Mundy.
Animal breeds become extinct for many reasons, including replacement by exotic breeds, the loss of grazing opportunities, the absence of market demand and lack of competitiveness with improved breeds, the disappearance of indigenous knowledge and institutions, and conflicts and catastrophes. A breed survey can help identify and document breeds that are hitherto unrecognized by outsiders. The best way of conserving local breeds is by creating an enabling environment for the breeding communities. Strategies include increasing community awareness, creating the right policy framework, organization and capacity-building for breeders, creating a market and marketing facilities for products of the breed, and breed improvement through selection.
Nagauri cattle, Tharparkar cattle and the dromedary are examples of threatened species in Rajasthan, India. The Raika (a traditional camel-raising group) and other livestock keepers have extensive indigenous knowledge and practices that they have used to create and maintain these and other breeds. These practices are mostly invisible to outsiders. Government attempts to upgrade teh livestock have focused on crossbreeding and have been unsuccessful. It is precisely the reluctance of the Raika and other breeders to give up the old waysthat has conserved what is left of Rajasthan’s indigenous animal genetic resources.