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Production environment recording

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2011

B. Scherf
Affiliation:
FAO, Animal Production and Health Division, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
M. Tixier-Boichard
Affiliation:
Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Jouy-en-Josas, France
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Summary

Improved understanding of the adaptation of livestock breeds to their production environments is important for many decisions in the field of AnGR management, ranging from genetic improvement to conservation. However, adaptation is complex and difficult to measure. One approach to this problem is to characterize adaptation indirectly by describing the production environments in which a breed has been kept over time, and to which it has probably become adapted. Comprehensive and comparable descriptions of the production environments in which animals are kept are also needed to make meaningful evaluations of performance data and to enable comparative analysis of the performance of different breeds. To address these requirements and in accordance with the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, it has been proposed that a recognized set of “production environment descriptors“ should be established and used throughout the world as a common framework for describing breeds' production environments. An important aspect of the process will be the georeferencing of breed distributions, which will allow them to be linked to a range of existing georeferenced data sets (e.g. climatic data). The link between a breed and a specific production environment may offer a basis for the development of a niche market; examples in include the Bresse chicken of France and the Abondance and Tarentaise cattle breeds of the northern Alps. Such niche markets represent important opportunities for keeping traditional breeds in use.

Résumé

Améliorer nos connaissances sur l'adaptation des races domestiques à leur milieu de production est important pour de nombreuses raisons dans le domaine de la gestion des AnGR, qui va de l'amélioration génétique à la conservation. Cependant, l'adaptation est complexe et difficile à mesurer. Une approche à ce problème est la caractérisation de l'adaptation indirectement, à travers la description des milieux de production dans lesquels une race se trouve et auxquels elle a dû probablement s'adapter. Il est aussi nécessaire d'avoir des descriptions compréhensibles et comparables des milieux de production dans lesquels les animaux se sont trouvés pour réaliser une évaluation des données de performance et permettre l'analyse de comparaison des performances des différentes races. Pour atteindre ces objectifs, et en accord avec le Plan Mondial d'Action pour les Ressources Zoogénétiques, il a été proposé qu'un ensemble reconnu de « descripteurs des milieux de production » soit établi et utilisé dans le monde comme cadre commun de travail pour la description des milieux de production des races. Un aspect important du processus sera la saisie des références géographiques de la distribution de la race, ce qui permettra de la mettre en relation avec un ensemble de données déjà existantes et référencées (p.e. données climatiques). La relation entre une race et un milieu spécifique de production peut offrir une base pour le développement d'un marché de niche, comme c'est le cas du poulet Bresse français et les races bovines Abondance et Tarentaise du Nord des Alpes. Ces marchés de niche représentent des occasions importantes qui permettent deconserver les races traditionnelles.

Resumen

Mejorar los conocimientos sobre la adaptación de las razas domésticas a sus medios de producción es importante por muchas razones en el campo de la gestión de los AnGR, que va desde la mejora genética a la conservación. Sin embargo, la adaptación es compleja y difícil de medir. Un enfoque a este problema es la caracterización de la adaptación indirectamente a través de la descripción de los medios de producción en los que una raza se ha encontrado y a los que probablemente se ha tenido que adaptar. También son necesarias las descripciones comprensibles y comparables de los medios de producción en los que los animales han estado para realizar evaluaciones de los datos de rendimiento y permitir los análisis de comparación de los rendimientos de las distintas razas. Para alcanzar estos requisitos y de acuerdo con el Plan Mundial de Acción para los Recursos Zoogenéticos, se ha propuesto que un conjunto reconocido de « descriptores de medios de producción » sea establecido e utilizado en todo el mundo como marco común de trabajo para la descripción de los medios de producción de las razas. Un aspecto importante del proceso será referenciar geográficamente la distribución de la raza, lo que permitirá relacionarla con un conjunto de datos ya existentes y georeferenciados (por ej. datos climáticos). La relación entre una raza y un medio específico de producción puede ofrecer una base para el desarrollo de un nicho de mercado, como los ejemplos que incluyen el pollo Bresse francés y las razas de vacuno Abondance y Tarentaise del norte de los Alpes. Estos nichos de mercado representan oportunidades muy importantes que permiten mantener a las razas tradicionales.

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2009

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References

FAO/WAAP. 2008. Production Environment Descriptors for Animal Genetic Resources, Report of the FAO/WAAP Expert Meeting, held in Caprarola, Italy, 6-8 May 2008. Pilling, D., Rischkowsky, B., Scherf, B. (Eds), Rome, Italy.Google Scholar
FAO. 2007a Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources and the Interlaken Declaration. Rome. (available at www.fao.org/docrep/010/al404e/al404e00.htm).Google Scholar
FAO 2007b Report of the Scientific Forum on Animal Genetic Resources held during the International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Interlaken, Switzerland, 3 September 2007 (available at www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/genetics/documentsñnterlaken/ScienceForum_report.pdf).Google Scholar
Verrier, E., Tixier-Boichard, M., Bernigaud, R. & Naves, M. 2005. Conservation and value of local livestock breeds: usefulness of niche products and/or adaptation to specific environments. Animal Genetic Resources Information Bulletin, 36, 2132 (available at http://lprdad.fao.org/cgi-bin/getblob.cgi?sid=-1,50006076)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
FAO. 1998 Production Environment Descriptors for Farm Animal Genetic Resources. Report of a Working Group, held in Armidale, Australia, 19-21 January 1998. Rome. (Available at: http://dad.fao.org/cgi-bin/getblob.cgi?sid=-1,50006251).Google Scholar
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