Towards (self) sustainability of local cattle breeds in Europe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Local eatt1e breeds in Europe have important genetie, eultura1, historica!, soeio-economie, and envimnmenta1 values, but many are considered to be at risk of extinetion. The genera! aim of the EU co-funded project EURECA ( better understanding offactors afIecting loeal eattle breeds' (self) sustainability in Europe. Data was colleeted from farmers and a wide range of stakeholders. Similarities and differences were identified by comparing 15 breed cases in 8 countries and cryopreservation programs in 4 countries. Addirinua1 data was collected in a wider survey amnng FAO Natinua1 Coordinators in Europe. Across countries three aspects seem te be relevant for tbe current and future status of local breeds: 1) age of farmers, 2) cooperation among farmers, and 3) farmers' opinion on the appreciation of the local breed by tbe society. Herd books were ratber comrrlOn for the breeds surveyed, but more than 50"10 ofthe breeds lacked performance recording. Fnr 25% oftbe breeds aspecific breed-associated food product was reported. Breed-specific strategic opportunities and common factors for EU policy development were identified, using a quantified SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis. We enneluded !hat both eornmnn policies and tailor-made breed specific strategies are needed to enhance breed (self) sustainability. Common policies should address generation transfer and positively infiuence cooperation among farmers, breed associations and society. SWOT analysis was also used to explore possibilities to add value to local breeds. Factors related to branded products were often mentioned as strength, while marketing of breed products was often considered as a weakness. While cultural values were perceived as strengths more than the environmental values, there seemed to be more opportunities attached to the environmental aspects
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 61st Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Heraklion, Greece, 23-27 August, 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event61st Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Heraklion, Greece -
Duration: 23 Aug 201027 Aug 2010


Conference61st Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Heraklion, Greece


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