On the Breeds of Cattle



How to conserve the diversity of our livestock?  In an attempt to find answers this book looks at one of the world’s most important types of livestock: cattle.

Against the background of a growing demand for animal protein there is a tendency to focus on a few highly productive breeds, such as the black-pied
Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle and the Angus beef cattle.

Crossbreeding local cattle with highly productive European and American breeds is widespread in Africa and Asia. At the same time the insight is growing that local breeds should not be allowed to disappear, since they are better at coping with extreme climates, low quality food and disease risks. Scientists agree on the importance of maintaining genetic diversity, but generally concentrate on the protection of breeds, considering the loss of each breed as an irreversible loss of diversity. Is this what should be our policy?

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