Serious attempts to establish satisfactory and efficient means of conserving the less common breeds of domesticated livestock in the United Kingdom have been active for the past 15 years. However, only in the past year has an appropriate organisation been set up to raise the necessary supporting finance to develop all the functions required to ensure the long term survival of several almost extinct breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs. Less attention has been paid so far to certain breeds of horses and poultry. The shortage of fossil fuels may help in part to ensure the survival of horse breeds but more deliberate measures may have to be taken to conserve certain breeds of poultry. This story of what has happened in this field in the United Kingdom is particularly interesting, because the increasing need to develop recreational per suits and amenity land use has been an important element, even though the main reasons for breed conservation are more largely concerned with the longterm need to maintain non-renewable genetic resources and with providing the opportunity to study biological variation and evolution.

J. C Bowman

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2, Madrid, Spain, 23–29, 1974
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