The proposal for a book on the Animal Genetic Resources of the USSR was made at the 1980 FAO/UNEP Technical Consultation on Animal Genetic Resources in Rome where about 100 member countries were represented. It was widely felt that information on the extensive livestock populations of the Soviet Union would be of great interest to many other nations. To date, there is no comprehensive publication in English covering this vast and important topic. It is therefore with pleasure that I write this foreword marking the end of 4 years work by many different individuals and organisations.
The USSR has many diverse topographical, climatic and cultural settings which have affected the development and use of domestic animals over long periods of time. The book presents a wealth of information covering 17 species and more than 100 breeds. Some breeds are clearly related to those of neighbouring countries in Europe, the Near East and Asia; others are very different and are found only in the USSR including the new synthetic breeds developed by Soviet scientists in the last 50 years. The book will therefore be of interest to many people in addition to those seeking directly to increase world animal production, and will include those concerned with conservation, biological sciences, education and research, social, cultural and economic fields.
On behalf of FAO I thank the many people who have contributed to its completion and commend it to the wide readership which will certainly receive it with pleasure and profit.
H.A. Jasiorowski Director, Animal Production & Health Division