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publications and unpublished reports on Awassi sheep thoroughly, and has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.
Animal Production and Health Division
Rome, July 1985