EURECA-ERFP-EAAP Workshop Barcelona, 24 August 2009
Workshop "Practical strategies and tools for the genetic management of farm animal populations"
Jointly organized by EURECA Consortium, ERFP and EAAP; 24 August 2009.
Session 13 of 60th Annual Meeting of EAAP Conference, Barcelona.

EURECA-ERFP-EAAP Workshop Barcelona, 24 August 2009 Presentations

Livestock Biodiversity Workshop 5-6 May 2010

Local Cattle Breeds in Europe

Towards policies and strategies for self-sustaining breeds

Which policies and strategies are required to successfully maintain our European Farm Animal Genetic Resources? The European local cattle populations were a target in the EURECA project, co-funded by the European Commission (EU AGRI GENRES 870/04).
The general aim was to better understand the state of the breeds, to identify factors that contribute to their success or failure, and to recommend decision-making tools for development of ambitious and sound strategies and policies. With this publication "Local cattle breeds in Europe: Development of policies and strategies for self-sustaining breeds" we share the methodology and give a comprehensive view on the local cattle breeds in Europe.

The majority of cattle breeds in Europe are native or local breeds, usually characterised by a limited geographical distribution. The breeds have significant potential as they are carrying large amounts of genetic variation and have important cultural, historical, socio-economic and environmental values. "Local cattle is living inheritance, old germ plasm which shouldn’t get lost", said one farmer. Another farmer: "My cows are like diesel cars; slow start, cheap energy and long life".

These local cattle breeds were once regionally the most popular ones, now many of them are 'at risk'. Hence, there is a need to (further) develop effective policies and strategies at national and European level to conserve and develop local cattle breeds and to promote their branded use. The results of the EURECA project were presented at the EURECA-GLOBALDIV conference 5-6 May 2010, FAO, Rome. Our findings and recommendations will hopefully contribute to the development of successful future strategies for local cattle breeds in Europe.

Livestock Biodiversity Workshop, FAO, Rome, May 5-6, 2010 Presentations