PROBLEM OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY CONSERVATION OF FARM ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES
The ratification by Ukraine of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994, the approval of the Interlaken Declaration in 2007, the Global Plan of Action on Farm Animal Genetic Resources and the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Benefit-Sharing, signed in 2012, imposes certain obligations to our country, especially concerning farm animal breed conservation.
Indigenous breeds have considerable store of variability, high cultural, aesthetic and ecological value and should therefore be unequivocally preserved. The state of this issue in Ukraine and the place of Zubets Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics of NAAS in the solution of the issue are covered in this article.
The research was conducted using methodological approaches that are consistent with the Global Action Plan on Animal Genetic Resources, EU Directives, the current legislative framework for livestock in Ukraine, programs and plans of breeding of specific breeds and herds of farm animals. The degree of inbreeding was determined using the method of S. Wright in the modification of D. A. Kislovsky.
Conservation of farm animal gene pool is a global issue and affair of certain international organizations, in particular FAO. In Ukraine M.V.Zubets Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics has been actively engaged in the issue of conservation of biodiversity of farm animals during 1996–2017. By the decision of the Bureau of the Presidium of the UAAS on March 11, 2004 (protocol No. 3), the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics assigned to be the main institution for the organization and implementation of a new scientific and technical program "Preservation of farm animal gene pool". In 2004 there was prepared a "Report on the Status of Genetic Resources of Livestock in Ukraine: Materials for FAO" (authors: M. V. Zubets, V. P. Burkat, D. O. Melnychuk, O. I. Kostenko, Yu. F. Melnyk, I. V. Guzev, R. M. Schmidt, G. G. Omelyanenko, V. I. Drobot, V. A. Pidzhelkova, A.F. Gordin, M. V. Stompel) with the participation of the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics of the NAAS.
To fulfill stated tasks, in 2006 the technology and methodology of breeding resources survey holding, breeding resources’ integrated assessment and identification of their economic and genetic specificity were proposed. According to the developed technology, in 2006–2010, 208 breeding herds of cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and poultry were surveyed. In the next year (2007), the Institute held a creative discussion "Problems of farm animal gene pool conservation." In the same year, the Institute workers (I. V. Guzev) took part in the International Scientific Conference "Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Poland and Europe" (Krakow, Poland), in 2009 – at the International Congress "On the Traces of Grey Podolic Cattle" (Matera, Italy), 2012 (S. I. Kovtun, N. L. Rieznykova) – in the workshop of the ERFP working group on the conservation ex situ "Legal and institutional arrangements for ex situ conservation at national level" (Zagreb, Croatia), 2016 (N. L. Rieznykova) – in a seminar on the conservation in situ and ex situ (Godöllo, Hungary). M. V. Zubets Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics of NAAS in 2017 formed the request for the participation in the international project of FAO on the conservation and rational use of the Brown Carpathian cattle gene pool.
The monitoring of the status of local small-scale and endangered farm animal breeds of different species on their number and number of breeding farms in Ukraine (2011–2017), according to the State Breeding Registry, revealed a tendency to the annual reduction of both the number of subjects of the breeding business in the relevant livestock sector and the general number of animals in breeds.
According to the results of the analysis conducted amongst a large number of small-scale farm animal breeds in Ukraine, the most vulnerable populations were chosen on the basis of the number of females and breeding farms. In Ukraine Grey Ukrainian, Ukrainian Whiteheaded, Brown Carpathian, Lebedyn cattle breeds, Hutsul horse breed, Sokil sheep breed, Mirgorodian, Ukrainian Steppe Black-and-White and Ukrainian Steppe White pig breeds are going to disappear. Taking into account the above mentioned, the Program of conservation of local and endangered breeds of farm animals in Ukraine for 2017–2025, based on the initiative and direct participation of Zubets Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, has been developed. It requires the annual budget subsidy at the level of 22.01–42.85 mln. UAH.
One of the methods of rational use and conservation of local, small-scale and indigenous farm animal breeds’ gene pool is the establishment of banks for long-term storage of biological material. Inventory of available resources of local cattle sperm was carried out. The bulls' sperm is stored at the Bank of Genetic Resources of Animals at M.V.Zubets Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics of NAAS and nine enterprises of Ukraine. The level of inbreeding among local and endangered breeds was studied. It was established that the highest level of inbreeding is observed among the bulls of the Brown Carpathian breed.
Amonst promising further scientific research directions are the next: expeditionary research on the availability of pure-blood animals in gene pool herds, identification of biological characteristics of indigenous animals’ products, estimation of cultural and aesthetic value, resistance level, adaptive ability, and the search for genetic markers of local, small-scale and disappearing breeds.
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