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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG Indicator 2.5.2 - Risk status of livestock breeds

Indicator 2.5.2 - Proportion of local breeds, classified as being at risk, not-at-risk or unknown level of risk of extinction

The indicator presents the percentage of livestock breeds classified as being at risk, not at risk or of unknown risk of extinction at a certain moment in time, as well as the trends for those percentages. The indicator will measure progress towards SDG Target 2.5.

By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.


Information collected for this indicator is key to safeguard precious animal varieties and support the livelihood of the world's population with sufficient, diverse and nutritious diets long into the future. 

Key results

As of February 2017, across the world, when excluding extinct breeds, 67% of local breeds (i.e. breeds occurring in only one country) are classified as of unknown status, 20% as at-risk, and 13% as not at-risk. Results differ largely across regions. With the exception of Northern America and Europe, the risk status of at least 86% of local breeds is considered to be unknown, either due to a lack of population size data or data not having been made available to the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS), maintained by FAO. DAD-IS covers more than 30 species used for food and agriculture and includes data on the size and structure of breed populations. To date, 182 countries have contributed to the system, but the population dataset remains incomplete.

Compared to the results from 2016, the percentage of breeds with unknown risk status slightly increased in 2017 (65% in 2016) while the percentage of breed not at risk decreased (16% in 2016) and the percentage of breeds at risk remained stable. These results show the urgent need for collection of national livestock census data on breed level.

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