A plan to conserve the genetic material of the country's farmed animals
was launched this week.
The plan makes recommendations to the industry and Government on how
we can improve and maintain the diversity of our livestock's genetic
material in the future.
The recommendations fall under the following broad categories:
Rooker, Food and Farming Minister, said:
- To maintain an advisory body to better inform the public, industry
and policymakers on the country's farm animal breeds;
- To improve
the collection, quality and availability of information and data
on genetic resources to provide effective ways for their future
- To support the prioritisation, development and implementation
of projects to conserve our genetic diversity;
- To maintain a co-ordinating
function and enhance issues surrounding genetic resources in
other areas of Government and Industry.
‘This plan is important economically, socially and culturally.
We have a fine tradition in this country of breeding a diverse
range of farm animals which in many cases can be found across the
world. However, there are growing concerns over genetic diversity
as growing economic pressures have lead to a few specialised breeds
spreading across the globe . The threat of exotic diseases is also
a threat to diversity in some breeds.
'There are also new challenges and opportunities for livestock
farmers today and our genetic resources and the expertise of breeders
have the potential to meet our pressing environmental and market
This strategic approach to manage our world renowned genetic resources
is to be complimented and I think all involved would agree that
this will help us form policy in the years to come whilst at the
same time ensuring the survival of many of our loved and cherished
1- The report uses the term Farm Animal Genetic Resources (FAnGR).
This is a scientific term to describe the genetic diversity of
our farmed livestock and the range of genetic 'resources' this
diversity represents. FAnGR usefully replaces the term 'breed'
in a scientific context.
2 -The National Steering Committee (NSC) for Farm Animal Genetic
Resources is an ad-hoc advisory committee set up in 2003 and has
now satisfied its Terms of Reference. The formation of the NSC
was one of the key recommendations of the UK Country Report on
Farm Animal Genetic Resources 2002 which the UK submitted to the
UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2002 as the our official
contribution to the 'First Report on the State of the World's Farm
Animal Genetic Resources'.
3- The NSC was set up as a UK body with participation from the
devolved administrations and has representation from animal geneticists,
experts in conservation, NGOs engaged in breed management and conservation,
and mainstream species associations.
4 -The Plan makes a strong case to support the view that the range
of livestock breeds in the UK is a valuable asset to our rural
economy, animal health and welfare, environmental management and
cultural heritage. It provides the foundational tools for sustainable
development in the livestock sector in the post CAP reform era.
5- The Plan provides a strategy that can will support the management
of FAnGR and help meet the changing demands on national livestock
production whilst prioritising the conservation of our rich and
diverse FAnGR. The NAP sets out 38 recommended actions to help
in the protection and sustainable use of our FAnGR.
New farmer-friendly measures to protect countryside
Farm radio - keeping the farming community informed
Live Food & Farming Fair 2006