The national conference on ‘native livestock breeds and their sustainable uses' held here on Monday emphasised the urgent need for indigenous livestock breed conservation movements in the country.

The conference was organised by the Advanced Centre of Environmental Studies and Sustained Development, Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU), in association with the National Biodiversity Authority and the Vechur Conservation Trust.

Inaugurating the function, MGU Vice-Chancellor Rajan Gurukkal said that the lack of integrated community support has led to the extinction of many livestock breeds. “Various movements for cattle breed preservation have been successful in certain parts of Africa and the developed countries. The Conservation Research Initiative (CRI) that was implemented in Samburu, Kenya, is an example of this. This has been immensely effective in preserving many breeds,” he said. Prof. Gurukkal called for a similar system to be implemented in the country. Delivering her presidential address, Sosamma Iype, managing trustee, the Vechur Conservation Trust, pointed out the bleak future faced by many breeds in the world. “Domestic animals face extinction at the rate of two breeds a week. A major reason for this has been the standardisation of agriculture. Moreover, corporatisation has led to patenting of many breeds. This has led to the preservation of a very few economically-viable breeds,” she said.

Azim Bhattobyal, Joint Commissioner, Department of Animal Husbandry, opined that the proposed conservation system should encompass people from all spheres.

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