Environment

The environment in which livestock populations are reared plays an important role in animal health and productivity.

Agro-environmental

Geo-environmental data (temperature, precipitation, land cover, sun solar radiation, relative humidity, etc.) can be used to map disease-risk areas, to predict parasite outbreaks and to characterize production environments to enable the unbiased comparative analysis of the performance of breeds. Moreover, this type of information is essential for understanding the adaptation of livestock to their local environmental conditions and is therefore important for many decisions in FAnGR management and conservation.

Socio-economic

The conservation of farm animal genetic resources cannot succeed without the consideration of economic drivers in the farm livestock system. Survival of specific breeds depends on their economic value in livestock markets. The latter have changed considerably due to the industrialization and globalization of livestock production systems, which have undergone change from more land-based types of agriculture to industrial farming systems, a substitution of local breeds by higher yielding ones, a more homogenous supply of quality for livestock product processing meeting modern consumer needs and an increase in global livestock product trade. Genetic resources need however to be seen as a common pool resource and it is hence important to understand the public good dilemma involved in the conservation of farm animal genetic resources. Appropriate economic and political measures can help to solve this dilemma. A rational approach should consider measures of the option value related to the future uses of genetic diversity. Possible solutions in the political arena rely on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, the development of demand for specific quality differentiated products as local meats, the support of mixed farming systems and the efficient management of animal diseases.