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RBST 'Watchlist' compiled

PUBLISHED: 12:51 12 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:19 28 March 2014

JANUARY 2008: Two breeds of sheep are to be classified at 'Other Native Breeds' and 19 native breeds of poultry added to the annual 'Watchlist' compiled by RBST.

2007 gave us many challenges, floods, FMD, Bluetongue and Avian


             Influenza all these along other factors will have a direct effect


             on numbers of livestock, both now and in the future, said RBST. However, the


             2008 Watchlist shows that most breeds are showing an encouraging


           increase in numbers.




           

“We are delighted that the numbers of Llanwenog and Ryeland


             sheep have increased and enabled both breeds to be moved to the ‘Other


             Native Breeds’ category. This is a great credit to the longstanding


             commitment of the Trust, breed societies and breeders.” says


             Dr Dawn Teverson, RBST Conservation Officer.




           

Greater public awareness about food production and animal welfare


             together with a demand for traceable, quality products is supporting


             the work of RBST.




           

Word is spreading throughout the farming fraternity that native


             breeds can be managed extensively without the need for the expensive


             inputs that are required by many other breeds. Premiums paid for


             quality meat and incentive schemes for keeping native breeds also


             help to increase animal numbers whilst discerning retail customers


             are returning time and again to butchers who provide this quality


             service.




           

Other changes to the annual Watchlist include:




           

Cattle




           

The Irish Moiled Cattle Society, have put together a breeding


             programme on the basis of Geneped results and advice from the Trust.


             The breed moves from category 2 to category 3 now that we are assured


             that the programme is in place, and conservation breeding semen


             is now available to Irish Moiled breeders in addition to the bulls


             on the ‘for sale’ list.




           

Other cattle breeds which are showing the results of concerted


             conservation efforts are the Shetland (category 3 to 4), original


             population Lincoln Red (category 2 to 3) and the Whitebred


             Shorthorn
             (category 1 to 2). Although an increase in numbers, we must remember


             that this still only brings the Whitebred Shorthorn to significantly


             less than 200 breeding females – more than ever a breed in


             need of serious support.




           

Sheep




           

Two primitive breeds, the Soay and the Castlemilk Moorit are going


             from strength to strength. The Soay (category 3 to 4), and the


             Castlemilk Moorit (category 2 to 3). The Castlemilk Moorit Breed


             Society has embarked on an extensive Breed Support programme, based


             on the results of breed analysis by RBST, using Geneped. Rare bloodlines


             are being targeted, both for semen collection and live animal conservation.


             The project is a model of cooperation between the Society, the


             breeders and the Trust. The Dorset Down is also classed as a success


             with its move (category 4 to 5).




           

Horses and Ponies




           

Equine breeds show little movement between categories for 2008.


             However, the Dales is a notable exception (category 1 to 2), a


             welcome increase after the shock of it moving from category 3,


             Vulnerable to 1, Critical in the 2006 Watchlist. This move is a


             reflection of the hard work of the owners and the breed society,


             but also illustrates the positive effect of accurate listing of


             a breed on the Watchlist, which means that we can monitor population


             numbers in order to concentrate effort and resources where they


             can be most effective.




           

Poultry




           

RBST met with the Poultry Club of Great Britain during 2007 and


             significant new projects are planned for 2008. These will build


             on the continuing work of the Trust and Roslin Institute to produce


             poultry DNA profiles, and the addition (after extensive research)


             of 19 native breeds of poultry to the Watchlist. This means that ‘other


             native breeds’ of poultry are included as well as those traditionally


             found on the Watchlist; as with other species. However, we do not


             have population data for these additional breeds for the 2008 Watchlist,


             so they will remain uncategorised.




           

Pigs




           

The Trust and British Pig Association (BPA) expect to make significant


             progress during 2008 with Geneped breed analyses planned for all


             our Watchlist breeds. However, these can only be attempted when


             BPA has received pig survey returns from the breeders and incorporated


             this information into the registration database. Both organisations


             will pool expertise and resources to take our breeds forward, post


             2007.




           

For more information contact RBST on 024 7669 8764 or visit www.rbst.org.uk




           





 

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