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IN VIVO CONSERVATION OF FARM ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES, WAGENINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS

14 to 17 of June of 2010

The earlier report on the International Seminar of February 2010 (‘Breeds at Risk: Criteria and Classification’), convened by RBI and ERFP in London, advised that the issues discussed during the seminar were being progressed further by both FAO and ERFP. A draft document has been prepared (“In vivo conservation of farm animal genetic resources”) and a workshop, jointly organised by Paul Boettcher (FAO) and Sipke Joost Hiemstra and Kor Oldenbroek (Centre for Genetic Resources), was held at Wageningen on 14-17 June as a final step towards the completed document. The workshop was supported financially by FAO, ERFP, and the Dutch Ministry for Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation.

 

There were 53 delegates representing 28 European countries, and RBI was represented by two Directors, Maija Pontaga and Lawrence Alderson, both of whom were present at the London seminar and made presentations at the Wageningen workshop. The major topics discussed were: 1) The importance of AnGR; 2) Identification of Breeds at Risk; 3) Determining the conservation value of a breed; 4) Organising institutions for in vivo conservation; and three chapters dealing with maintaining genetic variability, combining conservation and selection, and increasing the value of local breeds. It will take some time for the document to be finalised and pass through the necessary stages of approval, but we can anticipate the publication by FAO of valuable new guidelines in the near future.