An overwiew is given of European activities in the field of domestic animal genetic resources (AGR). The continent has a long history of animal selection which has resulted in a large number of breeds still existing in the major livestock species. Concerted activities between countries started in 1980 A continuous effort of inventory and characterization led to the creation of an Animal Genetic Data Bank in Hannover (Germany) in 1987, in which information is now available on 877 breeds of cattle, goat, horse, pig and sheep of 36 countries. A great number of programmes of AGR preservation are currently operated, usin° live animals, semen or embryos. Directions for future action are suggested. There is a need to define priority breeds or populations for conservation in each country and at an international level, and to implement programmes of AGR preservation of adequate size. Cryopreservation offers the best guarantee of long - term conservation at a reasonable cost and should be more widely used in European AGR conservation than is the case presently

L. Ollivier, I. Bodo, D. L Simon

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 21. Gene mapping; polymorphisms; disease genetic markers; marker assisted selection; gene expression; transgenes; non-convention, , 455–461, 1994
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