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The indigenous domestic livestock of the County of Devon, England

  • R. Trevor Wilson (a1)

Summary

Pastoral habitats in the County of Devon in southwest England range from lowland temporary pastures to upland rough grazing. These habitats have resulted in the development of locally adapted livestock types. In 2010, Devon is repository to two cattle, five sheep and two equine breeds: Historically there were sheep, equine and pig breeds now extinct or subsumed into existing types. Breed origins are discussed and physical descriptions and main production characteristics are provided. Information is given on organizations in England and overseas that promote the breeds and are responsible for maintaining pedigree records. Available numerical data are presented and conservation status discussed. All sheep and equine breeds are at risk because of low numbers or restricted geographical distribution. The government provides no direct assistance for conservation or preservation although there is limited support for native breeds from agrienvironmental schemes. Owner awareness of breed values, “designer” made for thriftiness under harsh conditions, supported by civil society organizations, will render them “fit for purpose” for new uses in conservation grazing in environmentally sensitive areas, maintenance of plant diversity and sustainable production, and assist in ensuring survival of these invaluable genetic resources.

Le milieu pastoral du comté de Devon dans l'Angleterre du sud-ouest varie entre les pâturages temporaires des plaines et les pâturages grossiers des zones montagneuses. Ces milieux ont eu pour résultat la valorisation de types d'animaux d'élevage adaptés localement. En 2010, dans le Devon étaient conservées deux races de bovins, cinq races de moutons et deux races de chevaux: auparavant, il y avait des races de moutons, de chevaux et de porcs qui sont maintenant disparues ou englobées dans les types existants. Le document examine les origines des races et fournit les descriptions physiques et les principales caractéristiques de production, ainsi que des informations sur les organisations, présentes en Angleterre et dans les pays d'outre-mer, qui s'occupent de la promotion des races et qui sont responsables des livres généalogiques. Il présente également les données numériques disponibles et analyse l'état de la conservation. Toutes les races de moutons et de chevaux sont à risque en raison de la faible taille de leur population ou de la distribution géographique limitée. Le gouvernement ne fournit aucune assistance directe pour la conservation ou la préservation bien que le soutien des programmes agro-environnementaux en faveur des races indigènes soit limité. La sensibilisation des propriétaires, soutenue par les organisations de la société civile, sur les valeurs génétiques conçues pour que les animaux se développent normalement et produisent même dans des conditions difficiles, les rendra adéquates aux nouvelles utilisations relatives aux pâturages de conservation dans les zones écologiquement sensibles, au maintien de la diversité végétale et à la production durable, et contribuera à garantir la survie de ces ressources génétiques très précieuses.

Los distintos hábitats pastorales en el Condado de Devon, en el suroeste de Inglaterra, se extienden desde los pastos temporales de las tierras bajas hasta las duras tierras altas de pastoreo. Estos hábitats han dado como resultado el desarrollo de diferente tipo de ganado adaptado localmente. En 2010 Devon se considera un depósito de dos razas de ganado bovino, cinco de ovino y dos de equino: históricamente existían razas de ganado ovino, equino y porcino que actualmente se han extinguido o han sido incluidas dentro de las existentes. Se analizan los orígenes de las razas y se proporcionan sus descripciones físicas y sus principales características productivas. Se informa acerca de las organizaciones que en Inglaterra y en el extranjero promueven las razas y son las encargadas del mantenimiento de los registros genealógicos. Se presentan los datos numéricos disponibles y se analiza su estado de conservación. Todas las razas ovinas y equinas se encuentran en peligro de extinción debido al bajo número de individuos existentes o a su limitada dispersión geográfica. El gobierno no proporciona ayudas directas para su conservación o preservación; aunque existe un limitado apoyo para las razas locales a partir de proyectos agroambientales. La sensibilización de los propietarios acerca de los valores de las razas, el “diseño” llevado a cabo por ahorro bajo duras condiciones y el apoyo de organizaciones de la sociedad civil las harán “aptas para el propósito” y su uso en el pastoreo para la conservación medioambiental en determinadas áreas, para el mantenimiento de la diversidad vegetal, la producción sostenible y para ayudar a asegurar la supervivencia de estos recursos genéticos de valor incalculable.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: R. Trevor Wilson, Bartridge Partners, Bartridge House, Umberleigh, Devon EX37 9AS, UK. e-mail: trevorbart@aol.com

References

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Keywords

The indigenous domestic livestock of the County of Devon, England

  • R. Trevor Wilson (a1)

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