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



Other changes to the annual Watchlist include:




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

             (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.




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.




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.




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



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



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