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Recent Publications

Breeding programmes for improving the quality and safety of products. New traits, tools, rules and organization?

Options Méditerranéennes Series A: Number 55
D. Gabiña & S. Sanna (Eds.)
Published in 2003, ISSN: 1016-121-X; ISBN: 2-85352-262-8 pp. 153

The FAO-CIHEAM Inter Regional Cooperative Research and Development Network on Sheep and Goats, founded in 1979, aims at improving the cooperation among European and Mediterranean experts and at spreading knowledge on specific subjects related to small ruminants. This network has backed important progress as regards methods applied to small ruminants, practical applications, laboratory research results and improvement of the quality of sheep and goat products (cheese, carcass, etc.). It also has an important mission of spreading technical and scientific information as well as helping technology transfer.

This paperback publication originated from a meeting of the Sub Network on Genetic Resources of the FAO-CIHEAM Inter Regional Cooperative Research and Development Network on Sheep and Goats held in Sassari, Italy, on 9-11 May 2002.

The main objective of the meeting was to present the scientific, organizational and economic aspects to be taken into account by the breeding programmes for improving the quality of products. Topics such as QTL detection, selection for scrapie resistance, selection for nematode resistance, selection for udder health and udder traits, selection for milk and meat quality, breed change and alternatives to the use of hormones in sheep and goat breeding programmes were presented and discussed trough 26 theatre presentations. All these papers gave an overview of the present situation in breeding for disease resistance in sheep and goats and in the scientific and technical possibilities to undertake breeding programmes on milk and meat quality products. After each presentation a few specific questions were debated and a more general discussion was carried out at the end of the sessions. Several topics came out through these discussions mainly concerning methods, results and possible applications in the field.

The meeting was attended by 27participants from Brazil, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and UK.

Cryopreservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Europe

D. Planchenault (Ed.)
Proceedings of a workshop held in Paris, 23 February 23 2003, Salon International de l’Agriculture
Published in 2003, ISBN: 2-908447-25-8 pp. 155

This paperback publication contains the Proceedings of the Technical Workshop organised and funded by the European Regional Focal Point (ERFP) for the Management of Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) in Food and Agriculture.

The European Regional Focal Point was set up as a light but permanent structure in 2000, with a view to encouraging greater co-operation among the National Co-ordinators for AnGR in the 37 European States involved. It is part of the global structure of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and can now claims to be the most active Regional Focal Point for AnGR worldwide. It is funded by donations from at least 10donor Governments within Europe.

One of the Terms of Reference of the ERFP is “to stimulate the funding and organisation of regional projects, workshops and national programmes on AnGR within the European Region”.

The workshop brought together National Coordinators (NC) for the management of AnGR, scientists, NGOs and policy makers and is considered the first step in the development of guidelines for establishment and maintenance of gene banks based on the utilisation of cryo-preserved germplasm of AnGR at risk.

The subject of this particular meeting was “Cryopreservation in Europe” and the organizers have brought together a team of specialists in ex-situ conservation from all over Europe to present their experiences and pool their knowledge. Among the invited speakers there was Harvey Blackburn from the USA to share his American experience in this area. The workshop forms part of a project headed by Sipke Hiemstra, NC of The Netherlands, to develop practical guidelines for countries wishing to develop their gene banks to conserve valuable germplasm from breeds at risk.

This Workshop offered a look at an area of work which is of critical importance for the conservation and sustainable management of the Region’s indigenous animal breeds.

The papers presented in the Workshop were both motivating and informative and will be of benefit in developing national ex-situ conservation plans.

Valuing Animal Genetic Resources.

A Special Issue of " Ecological Economics" Vol 4 (3): 315-518
Published in 2003, Elsevier, Amsterdam

Animal genetic resources are an important component in any agricultural development. The development of and investment in animal genetic resources require evaluation of their worth, as genetic resources not just as animals, to be incorporated in an objective plan. So far, very little progress has been made in this topic in view of the inherent nature of animals. Valuing an animal genetic resource needs inter alia the assessment of its uniqueness, utilization and accessibility.

This special issue of volume 4 of Ecological Economics, in paperback, is devoted entirely to this topic. Articles are written by authorities in both animal and plant genetic resources. Theses articles are, Introduction and overview to the Special issue on animal genetic resources, Animal genetic resources and economic development: issues in relation to economic valuation, Animal genetic resources and sustainable livelihoods, The need to conserve farm animal genetic resources in Africa: should policy makers be concerned?, Valuing animal genetic resources: lessons from plant genetic resources, Socioeconomic causes of loss of animal genetic diversity: analysis and assessment, An approach to the optimal allocation of conservation funds to minimize loss of genetic diversity between livestock breeds, Using conjoint analysis to estimate farmer's preferences for cattle traits in West Africa, Valuing indigenous cattle breeds in Kenya: an empirical comparison of stated and revealed preferences value estimates, Valuing genetic resources in peasant economics: the case of 'hairless' Creole pigs in Yucatan, Costs and benefits of preserving farm animal genetic resources from extinction: CVM and bio-economic model for valuing a conservation program for the Italian Pentro horse, Does breed matter to cattle farmers and buyers?: Evidence from West Africa, Economic evaluation of small holder subsistence livestock production: lessons from Ethiopian goat development program, Domestic animal biodiversity conservation: a case study of rural development plans in the European Union, and The challenge of conserving indigenous domesticated animals.

Community based management of animal genetic resources

Proceedings of a workshop held in Mbabane, Swaziland, 7 11 May 2001
Published in 2003 by FAO, Rome, Italy pp. 190

These paperback publication document the first step to develop a conceptual framework for community based management of animal genetic resources (CBMAnGR). This concept is based on the assumption that farmers are the custodians of Farm Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) and, therefore best placed to manage these resources. CBMAnGR is an approach that integrates the livelihood needs of local communities (food security and poverty alleviation) and the call of the Convention on Biological Diversity to conserve biodiversity in its “natural habitats” through sustainable use.

Objectives of the workshop were to:

The workshop was planned and organized by the SADC/FAO/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project, “Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources in the SADC Region”, the Southern Africa Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Training (SACCAR), SADC Livestock Coordination in Botswana and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), through the project “Managing Agrobiodiversity in Rural Areas”.

The participants were highly motivated and created a momentum for further developing and implementing the concept of CBMAnGR. The achieved results and recommendations provide input to SADC processes dealing with AnGR management and will be brought to the FAO and CBD processes for consideration. A recommendation was made to formulate policies for the support of CBMAnGR in the SADC region. The next steps will be the publication of the papers and case studies, and the outputs of the theme groups established.

Please find the electronic version of the publication within the DAD IS library at: swazilandproceedings.pdf

After BSE- A future for the European Livestock Sector

E.P. Cunningham & the European Association for Animal Production (Eds)
EAAP Publication no 108
Published in 2003, ISBN: 907699823X; ISSN: 0071-2477 pp. 104

This was the title chosen for an important report just published by EAAP, in paperback. The BSE crisis has been a hard lesson for all involved in the cattle livestock sector. The emphasis in this report is not on the past, but on what lessons there are for the future.

Much has been done to correct the deficiencies that led to the crisis. Much remains to be done. Against this background, EAAP commissioned a group of fourteen experts to review the causes and the consequences of the crisis. They were asked to place it in the context of the many factors that are forcing the pace of change in the livestock production sector, and in the food chain which it serves. Based on these analyses, they were charged with mapping the future option for the industry.

This book begins with the BSE epidemic. Present knowledge on its origin and spread are briefly and authoritatively reviewed; original analysis of its economic impact are presented; the management of risk and public information is reviewed; containment measures are documented, and the difficult question of meat and bone meal is fully discussed.

The current challenges facing the industry are then analysed. These include: the changing requirements of consumers, the growing concentration of economic power in food retailing and processing; the evolving economic structure of livestock farming in the EU 15; the questions of scale and competitiveness, and of intensification and nutrient overloading; the impact of changing EU policies, of globalisation, and of integrating ten million farmers from the ten new EU countries.

Discussion of future options begin with two stakeholder analyses - one based on economic, the other on ethical consideration. The requirements for transparency, accountability, traceability, and consumer assurance are discussed, as are the place for regional, special quality and organic products, and the contribution of science. A final Conclusions section presents ideas on how the European livestock sector can respond to the expectations of its consumers and of producers themselves.

For more information contact EAAP Secretariat ([email protected]) or browse the EAAP web pages at:

The Yak. Second Edition

Revised and enlarged by G. Wiener, H. Jianlin & L. Ruijun
Published by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Bangkok, Thailand
RAP Publication 2003/06, ISBN: 92-5-104965-3 pp. 460

The second edition, in paperback, represents an extensive revision of the chapters in the first edition and a substantial enlargement through the addition of five new chapters.

Apart from the continuing growth of the scientific literature on yak that has added to this edition, it had become apparent that two matters were insufficiently dealt with previously. One of these is the crucial role that culture and social context play in yak keeping. The second matter is the continuing search for the scientific basis underlying yak production. The subjects involved have become increasingly specialized and provide more insights for the scientists than for practitioners of yak keeping - but they are the foundation for future developments. These issues and the understandings derived from them form the basis of three new chapters. The first of these looks in some detail at the alpine rangeland ecosystem and its management. The second deals with fundamental processes in yak nutrition, and the third is concerned with advances in the genetics of yak at the molecular and cytogenetic level.

The discussion of yak in different regions has been greatly enlarged into a chapter divided into three parts. The first part provides information on the special features of yak keeping in six provinces of China. The second part provides much information on yak keeping and yak research in other countries that have a long history and tradition of yak keeping; this includes a new section that takes a broad sweep over yak in Western High Asia, and includes some of the more remote countries of the region with small but locally important yak populations. The section on Mongolia has been re-written; some of the others have been re-written or revised by their former authors or with new collaborators.. The third part of this long chapter has been added to provide a little evidence on yak in countries with environments that are not traditional for yak - principally yak kept commercially in North America, as well as a few in Europe and elsewhere and yak kept in zoos and wild animal parks.

The book is not a purely technical publication but tries to provide a comprehensive document describing all aspects of the Yak and its husbandry.

Fore more information, please e-mail to: [email protected].

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