Livestock Biodiversity Must Be Preserved As Vital Tool Against Climate Change

The genetic diversity of livestock can play a vital role in feeding the world in the face of hotter weather and the other effects of climate change, yet many valuable breeds continue to be at risk, the United Nations agricultural agency warned today, calling for stronger global efforts to safeguard the existing gene pool.

"Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for adaptation in the face of future challenges," UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva said, releasing a new agency report highlighting the need to ensure that animal genetic resources are used to promote global food security and remain available for future generations.

Indiscriminate cross-breeding is the main cause of genetic erosion, according to the FAO's Second Report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which also cited the increasing use of non-native breeds, weak regulation, the decline of traditional production and neglect of breeds considered not competitive enough.

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Bernard Dupont

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