The Awassi sheep with special reference to the improved dairy type

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Effective decision-making in animal breeding and genetics requires accurate knowledge combined with sound experience. FAO has issued a number of publications over the years, which seek to bring together such knowledge and experience in one volume. These publications have often been devoted to the livestock of certain countries or regions. They seek to bring to light information which has been published but which is often inaccessible to potential users because of language barriers or the limited distribution of scientific journals in some developing parts of the world. Additionally, there is often a wealth of information which has never been adequately documented in a formal way.

The Awassi sheep is a widely distributed type in many countries of the Near East Region and is known in other parts of the world. It is an animal genetic resource with special adaptability and performance characteristics which should be even more widely known. This publication seeks first to offer to the person already familiar with the Awassi sheep the integrated knowledge which draws together known facts and experience. Second, it seeks to bring to those unfamiliar with the Awassi the special qualities it offers for specific environments.

The author, Professor H. Epstein, is an internationally known scholar who has published widely on the subject of animal genetic resources, from both the point of view of origin and domestication, and also from the point of view of current distribution and use. He has used the ability of the dedicated scholar to study the extensive publications and unpublished reports on Awassi sheep thoroughly, and has combined this with his own years of experience in this authoritative text. FAO is pleased to publish this book in the interests of international cooperation and believes it will contribute to improving the understanding and use of this valuable genetic resource.

H.A. Jasiorowski
Animal Production and Health Division

Rome, July 1985

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