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Unproductive breeds at risk of global extinction

by 5m Editor
21 September 2007, at 10:08am

CANADA - It may lack panda-bear charisma, but the light-skinned, mild-mannered, droopy-eared Lacombe swine - the first livestock breed developed in Canada - has emerged as the poster pig for a national drive to save dozens of this country's endangered farm animals.

Their unique bloodlines are at risk of vanishing from a global agricultural industry, which is becoming increasingly starved of genetic diversity.

The anticipated loss of thousands of rare breeds of animals around the world -- largely the result of industrialized food production specializing in the meatiest, most fertile and most lucrative livestock for slaughter -- led earlier this month to a UN report sounding an alarm about the dangerous dwindling of the planetary gene pool for domesticated species.

The UN report, The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources For Food and Agriculture, warned that an average of one livestock breed per month is disappearing -- each one representing decades, centuries or even millennia of accumulated animal-breeding innovations.

Source: TimesColonist

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