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TRAINING METHODS IN ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES

TRAINING METHODS IN ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT

A.H. Osman1

1.    INTRODUCTION

During several previous meetings concerning animal genetic resources conservation and management held by or under the auspices of FAO and other organizations the consensus of opinion was that although long-term objectives are the same, immediate goals differ between developed and developing countries. This paper deals with training methods in animal genetic resources in developing countries.

Information as well as experience in this subject is rather limited and therefore the views expressed herein are meant to stimulate discussion. An attempt will be made to answer the following relevant questions:

- Is there a need for such training?
- To whom should this training be given?
- Who should give this training?
- What are the facilities needed and the need for regional and international cooperation?

2.    NEED FOR, AND BENEFITS OF, TRAINING IN ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES

Animal breeding in Europe and other developed countries has followed, for the last two centuries, a different path from that in developing countries. In developed countries intense selection for type as well as for production traits resulted in a relatively small number of well defined breeds. The establishment of breed societies, with the help of government and semi-government agencies promoted further pure breeding and development of distinguishable and specialized breeds.

On the other hand, in most developing countries animal breeding followed old traditional methods which emphasized "quantity" rather than "quality" breeding. Becaue of social outlook to livestock, livestock owners paid little attention to individual excellence, and stressed increases in the herd or flock which is to a large extent related to multiplication and survival under the prevailing adverse conditions. The security of the livestock owners is reflected in raising more animals rather than the production performance of individual animals.

Under this genetic situation (lack of selection) and social outlook, practically all breeds and strains are preserved, each adapted to a specific environment. Performance recording is virtually unknown. High producing and low producing breeds are in co-existence, sometimes physically not far from each other.

Due to the rising demands for animal products many governments of developing countries tried to rectify the situation by the introduction of exotic genetic resources from developed countries. These policies are based on the assumption that productivity of indigenous breeds is very low. However, in many instances the indigenous breeds have not been properly evaluated. The dangers of this policy of indiscriminate cross-breeding with exotic stock and the rationale behind preserving indigenous breeds must be pointed out to governments before further damage is done.

Therefore there is need for documentation, and evaluation of the present indigenous breeds in developing countries. Once this information is available then programmes of conservation and utilization of these indigenous breeds should be carefully planned to cater for the short-term and long-term requirements of animal production in developing countries.

Due to the present organization of animal production in developing countries, which is characterized by a large sector of small farmers and nomads, genetic improvement methods relying on performance recording as seen in developed countries must be altered in such a way to cope with the situation. Under these conditions the problems of conservation and selection are closely linked.

3.    PARTICIPANTS AND LEVELS OF TRAINING

In developing countries there is a shortage of highly qualified technical staff. Therefore a large part of the work will be entrusted to technicians and medium-level staff.

Documentation

It will be adequate to train technicians in animal production and veterinary science to shoulder this responsibility, including training in laboratory techniques.

Evaluation

This requires university training in animal production preferably in animal breeding. Post-graduate diploma or MSc will be even more suitable.

Conservation, Management and Utilization

In order to draw an effective programme of conservation, genetic improvement and utilization of the animal genetic resources, PhD training in animal genetics and breeding possibly also in other related fields is essential. In many developing countries this calibre of technical staff is not available. This situation would then require regional and international cooperation.

4.    RECOMMENDED METHODS OF TRAINING

4.1    Theoretical Aspects

Topics

Technicians

Graduate

High qualifications
MSc, PhD

Reasons for conservation of animal genetic resources

yes

yes

-

International work done

-

yes

yes

Breed documentation

yes

-

-

Breed evaluation

-

yes

yes

Conservation and management

-

yes

yes

Utilization of animal genetic resources

-

-

yes

Organization of data banks

yes

yes

yes

4.2    Practical Aspects

Topics

Technicians

Graduate

High qualifications
MSc, PhD

Breed documentation

yes

yes

-

Data handling and organization

yes

yes

-

Genetic polymorphism      
Red cell antigens      
Haemoglobins      
Blood serum proteins      

Enzymes

yes

yes

yes

Conservation methods      
Live animals      
Frozen semen      
Frozen embryos yes

yes

yes

Genetic improvement plans

-

-

yes

4.3    Country Reports and Case Studies

Each participant should present a country report for discussion. The report should include the work done in his (her) country and the problems related therewith.

Since most of these training courses will be regional because of language limitation, etc., then case studies of interesting work from outside the region can also be reported and discussed.

5.    FACILITIES AND STAFF NEEDED FOR TRAINING

As far as possible training in animal genetic resources conservation and man agement should be shared between developed and developing countries. Lack of adequate training facilities should not be a limiting factor in organizing training courses in developing countries. Where there are nucleus facilities they should be augmented with the assistance of regional and international cooperation.

Technical staff from developing countries should be aware of the fact that even with limited facilities, some work can be accomplished.

Only high-level courses requiring elaborate facilities and complex equipment should be held in developed countries.

Also qualified personnel from developing countries should participate in these training courses.

6.    NEED FOR REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Training in animal genetic resources conservation and management requires good and multidisciplinary facilities which are not present in any one single developing country. Therefore intercountry, regional and international cooperation is of paramount importance. This can best be accomplished by identifying potential training centres in developing and developed countries. These centres should be earmarked for certain levels of training. They should be augmented and improved in the best possible way through regional and international assistance, if need arises.

REPORT ON THE FAO/UNEP TRAINING COURSE ON ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT

I. Bodó1

On the initiative of FAO/UNEP a two-week training course was organized on animal genetic resources conservation methodology for animal scientists from developing countries.

1.    THE GOALS OF THE TRAINING COURSE

- To give the participants a survey on the present state of the theory and practice of the conservation and management of animal genetic resources.
- To gain experience for preparing such training courses in the future as the need arises from member countries of FAO.

2.    HOST INSTITUTION

The host institution of the trailing course was the University of Veterinary Science, Budapest, Landler Jenó u. 2, Hungary.

3.    PARTICIPANTS

Eighteen participants were selected by FAO from 15 developing countries. All of them were very well educated people and included university lecturers, research officers, extension workers, government administrators and livestock station superintendents. Some of them had the PhD degree from Europe or North America. For details see the list of participants (Annex II).

All the participants understood and spoke English. The course was conducted in English.

4.    ACCOMMODATION, CLASSROOMS AND OTHER FACILITIES

Accommodation and breakfast was provided for the participants in the student hostel of the University in single or in some cases double rooms with bathrooms. Classroom lectures were organized in the same building. Slide and transparent projectors were available. Lunch and dinner were served nearby in a restaurant.

5.    FINANCE

A fund of Hungarian Forints equivalent to US$ 20 000 deposited by FAO/UNEP was available to the University of Veterinary Science to cover the costs of the training course. The travelling of the participants was arranged separately by FAO. The cost of providing a Manual to be published soon is also included in the above mentioned sum.

6.    SEQUENCE OF EVENTS IN THE TWO-WEEK TRAINING COURSE (see Annex I for full programme)

2 days arrival, registration
2 days classroom lectures
1 day field visit
2 days classroom lectures
1/2 day classroom lectures
1/2 day relaxation, sightseeing (Saturday)
1 day relaxation, excursion and field visit (Sunday)
2 days classroom lectures
1 day field visit
1 day classroom lectures
1/2 day closing of the training course, afternoon free
2 days departure of participants
16 days

Social Events:

  1. Opening Reception, given by the Rector of the University
  2. Farewell dinner

7.    SUBJECTS OF THE TRAINING COURSE

7.1    Classroom Lectures

Theory of conservation and management

- genetics
- necessity and importance of the conservation programme
- the world situation and the work already done
- the possible role of immunogenetic and chromosome research
- importance of selection

Several approaches to the problem

- Hungarian
- British
- French
- Scandinavian
- the work organized by EAAP

Methods of conservation

- living animals (purebred and gene pool system)
- cryogenic methods

Organization of maintenance of rare breeds threatened by extinction

  possibilities at government level
- mobilizing the forces of society
- problems at national
    regional
    worldwide level

Health and disease problems of conservation and the role of indigenous breeds in resistance against disease

- infectious diseases
- parasites

Special cases

- poultry
- Sahiwal
- Hungarian Grey Cattle

Other species

- variability in non-domestic species
- domestication and history of breeds.

Following each lecture numerous questions were put during the discussion periods.

7.2    Country Reports

Each of the participants gave a report (usually illustrated) on animal genetic resources in his own country, which were very interesting. These reports may be considered as case studies and were followed by active discussion, many questions and comments.

7.3    Field Visits

The participants of the course visited the Hortobágy State Farm and National Park which are responsible for the maintenance of genetic resources of some Hungarian endangered domestic species (sheep, cattle, swine).

Another visit was paid to an AI centre where the participants could study cryogenic methods and storage of semen.

An embryo transfer was demonstrated in practice with cattle.

The Saturday afternoon and Sunday excursions were for relaxation and to show the participants Budapest and some landscapes of Hungary as well as a visit to a Game Production Centre in the country.

8.    CONCLUSIONS

Based on the experiences of this training course, I highlight the following items for future courses:

  1. The scientific programme should include the small animals such as rabbit, pigeon and other backyard production breeds as well as fisheries (freshwater and sea) ; furthermore game meat production and consumption.
  2. It would be desirable that FAO provides the available data on each represented country on which the country reports should be based.
  3. The host country must be prepared for the duplication of the lectures as well as the country reports and possibly brief summaries. Also for the provision of the technical facilities such as projectors, tape recorders, etc.

I consider it desirable to reproduce also the illustrations of the lectures and country reports (use of video recorder?).

  1. Since discussion is a very important part of the course one should consider whether the oral part of the discussions should be taped and published in the form of brief minutes, or in the final report.
  2. The scientific and the financial/organizational tasks of the training course should be separated.
  3. Because of the different financial systems of possible organizing countries provision should be made for the participants to have both convertible and local currencies.

ANNEX I

FAO/UNEP TRAINING COURSE ON ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES
CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT
Budapest, 5-16 September 1983

Director: Dr. I. Bodó
Co-Director: Dr. John Hodges

TIMETABLE

4-5 September Arrival of participants
Registration

5 September

18.30 Reception given by the Rector of the University

6 September

08.10 Inaugural address L. Zelkó
08.20 Keynote address I. Bodó
08.30 The importance of conservation of genetic resources with special respect to the strategy of heterosis breeding A. Horn
10.30 General survey on the present situation for the maintenance of animal genetic resources and the work already done J. Hodges
14.00 How to avoid total genetic loss of domestic animals: Hungarian approach I. Biró
16.00 Country report, Brazil A. Primo
17.00 Country report, Botswana E. Senyatso

7 September

08.30 Scandinavian activities on the conservation of animal genetic resources K. Marjala
10.30 The evolution of domestic animal breeds. The problem of variability in wild and feral populations A. Reményi
14.00 Maintenance of animal genetic resources in Europe. The work already done by the EAAP K. Maijala
16.00 Country report, Cyprus A. Mavrogenis
17.00 Country report, Ethiopia G. Yilma

8 September

07.00 Visit to the State Farm and National Park of Hortobágy. Herds of ancient Hungarian Grey Cattle, sheep and pig breeds. A whole day programme

9 September

08.30 Genetic problems in the maintenance of rare, non-commercial populations of domestic animals J. Dohy
10.30 The role of genetic polymorphism research in the conservation of rare breeds threatened by extinction L. Fésüs
14.00 Maintenance of living herds of farm animals (example: Hungarian Grey Cattle) I. Bodó
16.00 Country report, Indonesia A. Siregar
17.00 Country, report, Kenya C. Gichohi

10 September

08.30 Improvement of Sahiwal cattle by intercountry cooperation J. Hodges
10.30 How to avoid total genetic loss of domestic animals. J. Devillard
French approach
15.00 Free or sightseeing of Budapest  

11 September

10.00 Round tours in the country by coach

12 September

08.30

Organization of the maintenance of rare domestic animal breeds at Governmental level J. Devillard
10.30 The role of control of infectious diseases in the maintenance of animal genetic resources T. Szent-Iványi
14.00 Importance and possibilities of cryogenic systems on the maintenance of genetic variability of domestic animals P. Soós
16.00 Country report, Nepal N. Shrestha
17.00 Country report, Pakistan N. Zafarullah

13 September

08.30 Problem of selection in indigenous breeds V. Buvanendran
10.30 The problem of conservation of genetic variability in poultry populations P. Horn
14.00 Genetic improvement of indigenous breeds V. Buvanendran
16.00 Country report, Sudan M. Ahmed
17.00 Country report, China W. Huang

14 September

07.00 Visit to Al Centre at Gödölló. Laboratories in AI station. Blood group and chromosome control in practice
14.00 Visit to embryo transfer centre at U116. Methods and demonstration. A whole day programme

15 September

08.30 How to avoid total genetic loss of domestic animals. English approach G.I. Alderson
10.00 Country report, Afghanistan

K. Janan

11.00 Country report, Bhutan K. Wangdi
14.00 Mobilization of the forces of society for the conserva tion of animal genetic resources G.L.H. Alderson
16.00 Country report, Thailand S. Chantsavang
20.00 Dinner

16 September

8.30 Country report, India P. Thomas P. Dash
09.30 Country report, Nigeria G. Nnadi
10.30 Summary of the main topics and closing of the training course J. Hodges
I. Bodó

17-18 September

Departure of participants

ANNEX II

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

Janbaz JANAN
Kabul University
Faculty of Veterinary Science
Afghanistan
Veterinarian University, Assistant
Poultry breeding, genetics
Koinhok WANGDI
Livestock Farm
PO Samchi
Bhutan
Farm Superintendent
Dairy Production
Enoch K. SENYATSO
Animal Production Research Unit
Pibag 0033
Gabarone
Botswana
Research Officer
Sheep and Goat Research
Armando Teixeira PRIMO
CENARGEN/EMBRAPA
Sain-Prague Rural
Caixa Postal 10.2372
70.770 - Brasilia DF
Brazil
Coordinator of Animal Genetic Resources
Pasture Production and Animal Genetic Resources
Zuojiang FENG
Institute of Zoology
Academia Sinica
Beijing
China
Lecturer
Taxonomy and Faunistics of Animals
Wenxiu HUANG
Commission of Integrated Survey of Natural Resources Academic Sinica
P.O. Box 767
Beijing
China
Research Assistant (Lecturer)
Ecology and Husbandry of Domestic Animals
Antonius CONSTANTINOU
Department of Agriculture
Nicosia
Cyprus
Animal Husbandry Officer
Animal Breeding, Maintenance of Animal Genetic Resources
Andreas Pantinos MAVROGENIS
Agricultural Research Institute
Nicosia
Cyprus
Agricultural Research Officer
Animal Breeding and Genetics
Purna Chandra DASH
Krishi Bhavan
Room 491
New Delhi
India
Assistant Commissioner
Cattle and Buffalo Breeding
Cons. of Animal Genetic Resources
Getachew YILMA
Livestock and Fishery Development Corp.
P.O. Box 1249
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Senior Expert
Dairy, poultry and swine production, their nutrition, breeding and health care of all government herds
Palahani Chacko THOMAS
Scientist S-l
Central Avian Research Institute
Izatnagar
Bareilly U.P.
Pin-243122
India
Scientist
Poultry breeding research
Maintenance of genetic resources
Asmaun SIREGAR
Directorate of Animal Production
Jl. Salemba Raya 16
Jakarta
Indonesia
Veterinarian
Artificial insemination
Charles M. GICHOHI
P.O. Box 68228
Nairobi
Kenya
Assistant Director
Livestock Development
Pigs, poultry, rabbits
production services
Nanda Prasad SHRESTHA
Livestock Farm
Lampatan Pokhara
P.O. Box 14
Gandaki Anchal
Nepal
Farm Manager
Sheep, pig, buffalo and poultry breeding and nutrition
Gideon Ghiduben NNADI
Fed. Livestock Department
8 Strachan Street
Lagos
Nigeria
Principal Livestock Dept. Officer
Planning, implementation and evaluation of farm animals
Naseem Muhammad ZAFARULLAH
Banglov No. 12
St. No. 42 F.7/1
Livestock Division
Ministry of Agriculture
Islamabad
Pakistan
Assistant Animal Husbandry Commissioner
Milk and meat production
Animal nutrition and animal husbandry
Mohamed-Khair Abdalla AHMED
Institute of Animal Production
Shmbat, Khartoum/North
Sudan
Lecturer
Population genetics
Animal breeding
Sorochai CHANTSAVANG
Animal Science Department
Kastesart University
Bangkok 10900
Thailand
Instructor
Population genetics

LECTURERS

Geroge L.H. ALDERSON
Colonsay Hampton Lovett
Droitwich Worcs
Uk
Consultant Animal breeding conservation

István BIRO
Control Bureau for Animal Breeding and Nutrition Keleti Károl u.24
Budapest
Hungary

Director
Organization and direction of animal breeding

Imre BODO
Department of Animal Husbandry
University of Veterinary Science
Landlet Jenó u.12
H-1400 Budapest VII
Hungary

Associate Professor
Animal breeding and genetics
Breeding of horses and cattle
Conservation of genetic resources

V. BUVANENDRAN
National Animal Production Research Institute
Ahmadu Bello University
P.M.B. 1096
Zaria
Nigeria

Animal Geneticist and Planning and Monitoring Officer
Animal breeding research in all species and research coordination

Jean-Marie DEVILLARD
Ministére de 1'Agriculture
Service de l'Elevage
3 rue Barbet de Jouy
75007 Paris
France

Animal Geneticist
Animal Production Department
Animal Selection Officer Programmes of selection of cattle and pigs. Supervision of conservation programmes for endangered breeds

János DOHY
Department of Animal Husbandry
University of Veterinary Science
Landler Jenó u.2
H-1400 Budapest VII
Hungary

Professor
Animal breeding and genetics .

László FESUS
Research Institute for Animal Husbandry
Department of Genetics
H-2053 Herceghalom
Hungary
Head of Department
Immunogenetics, sheep and swine
John HODGES
FAO Via delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome
Italy
FAO Animal Production Officer
(Animal breeding and genetic resources) International animal production and conservation
Arthur HORN
Department of Animal Husbandry
University of Veterinary Science
Landler Jenó u.2
H-1400 Budapest VII
Hungary
Professor
Animal breeding and genetics
Peter HORN
Pig and Poultry Production Institute
Agricultural College, Kaposvár
7401 Kaposvár, P.f.16
Hungary
Professor and Director
Poultry and pig genetics and breeding
Kalle MAIJALA
Department of Animal Breeding
Central Agricultural Institute
Jokioinen - Helsinki
Finland
Professor, Research Officer
Animal breeding and genetics
András REMENYI
Szüló u.37
H-1034 Budapest III
Hungary
Expert
History and development of domestic animal breeds
Pál SOOS
Animal Breeding Joint Company
Department of Reproduction
Keleti Károly u.24
Budapest
Hungary
Chief Veterinarian
Reproduction of males and females Biotechnology and embriology
Tamás SZENT-IVANYI
Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
University of Veterinary Science
Landler J. u.2
H-1400 Budapest VII
Hungary
Professor
Virology and infestious diseaes of domestic animals

SUPPORTING STAFF

TAKACS Erzsébet
Department of Animal Husbandry
University of Veterinary Science
Landler Jenó u.2
H-1400 Budapest VII
Hungary
Research worker
Immunogenetics and population genetics
KESZEGH IIdikó
Rector at of University of Veterinary Science
Landler Jenó u.2
H-1400 Budapest VII
Hungary
Secretary
MARKUS Gabriella
Department of Animal Husbandry
University of Veterinary Science
Landler Jenó u.2
H-1400 Budapest VII
Hungary
Veterinarian

ASSISTANTS

Ohene Gyan

University student (Ghana)

Tambro Gaari

University student (Ghana)

Awini Cletus Yaro

University student (Ghana)

Hollós János

University student (Hungary)
Mohamed Lamine Keita Scholarship-holder (Mali)
Szabára László Scientific Manager (Hungary)

1 Director, Institute of Animal Production, University of Khartoum, Shambat, Sudan.

1 Department of Animal Husbandry, University of Veterinary Science, P.O. Box 2, H-1400 Budapest 7, Hungary.

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