Logo

Livestock breeds in trouble of extinction

FoodTank report reveals that many of Africa's cattle breeds are under the threat of extiction

Ankole Watusi cattle Ezhuttukari African FarmingAnkole Watusi Cattle is one of the breeds facing extinction in the near future. (Image source: Ezhuttukari)

 The non-for-profit FoodTank, have recently released a list of 35 species which are about to become extinct. In addition to this, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), close to 17 per cent of the world’s livestock breeds face extinction. Many of these livestock breeds are indigenous, adapted to local conditions with long agricultural and pastoral traditions. Africa alone is home to more than 150 cataloged breeds of cattle. 

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) reports that up to 80 per cent of the agricultural GDP in developing countries comes from livestock; 600mn rural poor are dependent on livestock to feed themselves and their families. Poor farmers often raise indigenous breeds, managing herds both to maintain diversity and to support community livelihoods. This direct human involvement in cultivating agricultural biodiversity is “inherently linked to sustainable use,” according to the Convention on Biological Diversity. 

“Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for adaptation in the face of future challenges,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. A diverse population of livestock can spread risk across multiple levels. Not only do “local breeds have greater abilities to survive, produce, and maintain reproduction levels in harsh environments,” said Bertrand Dumont, researcher with the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, but they tend to be less cost-intensive to raise.

Irene Hoffmann, the head of FAO's Animal Genetic Resources Programme pointed out that in the face of challenges including climate change, disease, famine, drought and land degradation, diverse indigenous breeds of livestock could be of great importance for food security and to make food production more resilient. A more diverse set of genetic material could help farmers and breeders adapt and respond to the ever-changing world around them.

However, the global rise in meat consumption has driven a shift to industrial meat production. In the past 10 years, worldwide meat production has risen by 20 per cent. The FAO projects a 3.5 per cent global increase in poultry trade in 2016 alone. About 67 per cent of that poultry production comes from industrial animal operations or factory farms. And some 42 per cent of global pork production is from factory farms. 

Farming and pastoral communities, as well as many farmers’ organisations across the globe, are making an effort to promote the conservation and cultivation of indigenous breeds of livestock. The FAO reports an overall uptick in national investment in gene banks and information systems for the preservation of genetic material from livestock. 

Veterinarians Without Borders is currently working in Liberia, Uganda, and Ethiopia on programs that educate university students and smallholder farmers on animal husbandry techniques and human health. In sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands, the Turing Foundation offers grants and funding to support sustainable livestock and agricultural practices. Through its focus on holistic systems, the Africa Centre for Holistic Management encourages the use of livestock in land restoration and conservation projects through on-site training and education.


LATEST NEWS IN Cattle

Intracare launches the world’s most eco-friendly hoof bandage

Intracare launches the world’s most eco-…

Intracare, developer and supplier of products for veterinary health and nutrition, has come up with the world’s most eco-friendly hoof bandage, which will be available worldwide

Nutreco receives grant to provide sustainable feed solutions for small-scale producers

Nutreco receives grant to provide sustai…

Nutreco, a global animal nutrition leader, has received a US$4.8mn grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the implementation of localised, sustainable complete feed production in sub-Saharan...

Volatility: challenges in animal feeding

Volatility: challenges in animal feeding

As price volatility propels the use of alternative feed ingredients, Adisseo's team discusses how the quality of diets and the performance of animals can be maintained in such situations

Tackling transboundary animal diseases in Zimbabwe

Tackling transboundary animal diseases i…

To curb high impact transboundary animal diseases in Zimbabwe, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development launched the animal health...

Nuclear techniques help Zambia ensure safety in animal food products

Nuclear techniques help Zambia ensure sa…

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) are working with Zambian experts to address drug resistant microbes as well as food contamination in meat...

Evonik publishes first edition of animal diet

Evonik publishes first edition of animal…

Evonik, a German-based specialty chemicals company has published the first edition of the MetAMINO ATLAS displaying the results of 15 performance trials investigating the relative bioavailability of supplementary methionine sources...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Cattle

South Africa to investigate the Estina Dairy Farm project

South Africa to investigate the Estina D…

The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries welcomes the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) announcement of its investigation into the Estina Dairy Farm project at Vrede, Free State Province

Using muzzle photographs to identify cattle

Using muzzle photographs to identify cat…

Scientists at Egypt’s Beni-Suef University have developed a computer-based technique that can identify cattle using nose prints, said a study

Automated weather stations to help Ethiopian herders

Automated weather stations to help Ethio…

Automated weather stations (AWS) are being installed in some of Ethiopia’s lowlands to help herders and other climate-vulnerable residents respond better to recurring shocks related to climate change

Zimbabwe prepares to sell beef to Russia

Zimbabwe prepares to sell beef to Russia

Zimbabwe will start exporting beef to the Russian market, according to a senior government minister

Kenya to waive import duty on animal feed raw materials

Kenya to waive import duty on animal fee…

In a bid to boost dairy farming, Kenya’s government is planning to waive the duty on raw materials imported for manufacture of animal feeds

Nestlé and Global Good partner to help Africa’s dairy farmers

Nestlé and Global Good partner to help A…

Nestlé and Global Good have announced the Clinton Global Initiative Commitments to Action, as part of a two-year partnership to improve the productivity of smallholder dairy farmers in East Africa

EU to grant US$43mn to Zimbabwe’s livestock sector

EU to grant US$43mn to Zimbabwe’s livest…

The EU has decided to grant a US$43mn grant that will assist the development of Zimbabwe’s livestock sector

Gates Foundation rolls out Tanzanian dairy project

Gates Foundation rolls out Tanzanian dai…

The East African Dairy Development Project (EADD) recently received US$25.5mn from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its operations into Tanzania

INRAE and Ceva partner for research and innovation in animal health

INRAE and Ceva partner for research and …

Philippe Mauguin, CEO of INRAE, and Dr Marc Prikazsky, chairman and CEO of Ceva Santé Animale (Ceva), have signed a first framework agreement to strengthen collaboration in the field of...

Kenya unveils vaccine to curb cattle-killer disease

Kenya unveils vaccine to curb cattle-kil…

Kenya has launched the East Coast Fever (ECF) vaccine to control a deadly disease that causes the death of 1.1mn cattle yearly across eastern, central and southern Africa

Kenyan farmers urged to adopt scientific methods to improve livestock yields

Kenyan farmers urged to adopt scientific…

Livestock experts have encouraged Kenyan farmers to implement scientific methods in the management of animal breeding in the country to improve animal health and production

Prev Next

Template Design © Joomla Templates | GavickPro. All rights reserved.