• N. L. Resnikova Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics nd. a. M. V. Zubets of NAAS (Chubynske, Ukraine)
Keywords: indigenous breeds, biodiversity conservation, production quality, constitution strength


Introduction. Modern economical challenges demand to find new ways of profitability increasing. Animal breeding is not an exception. The most widely used method is animal production increasing. Rather frequently such increasing is fulfilled through crossing of indigenous breeds with commercial breeds: the adaptation of latter goes easier and the production of the first one become higher. This method became rather popular during last decades, despite of some scientists’ warnings on impossibility of arithmetic counting of blood shares at biologic objects.

Aim of the work was a try to prove the benefits of indigenous breeds of Ukraine from different points of view: cultural, ecological, health protective and others.

Materials and methods. Analytical, axiomatic, hypothesis-deductive, empirical, synthetic, elementary-theoretical, of induction, summarizing and of isolated abstraction methods.

Results. Valuable traits were sorted due to possibility of satisfaction of modern society’s major challenges.

Tasty food. There are a lot of different proofs, concerning special qualities of local breeds products. In Ukraine it concerns, first of all, tasty broth from Grey Ukrainian breed meat. There was trial, in which Grey Ukrainian amongst outstanding French, Italian, English beef breeds took part (24 samples totally). Experts preferred Grey Ukrainian broth (blind trial). Milk of these cows is tasty and fatty too.

Safe food.  It is clear, that milk and meat of ill animals contains pathogenic bacteria. Unconditional guarantee of safe milk could be done only at the case of local breeds use, which are resistant to main antropozoonosis (common for humans and animals).

Quality food. Higher quality of local breeds products is undeniable, as producers, trying to make production each time more profitable with different methods (especially in pig-breeding) often use biosimulators (probiotics, antibiotics, hormonal, tissue preparations, ferments, microelements, vitamins), which allow to strength physiological, including metabolic, processes in organism, to increase growth energy, production output, to improve food conversion. But pigs, which get such additives, do not have enough time to form completely till slaughter (muscle and adipose tissue). It resulted in reduction of meat quality and economical efficiency of its processing.

Unique genes. We should remember, that loss of genes, which code valuable traits, particularly, disease-resistance, can lead to future loss of huge animal massive. Let’s remember case with BSE break in England in 1994: English slaughtered 5 mln. of adult cattle and 1 mln. of calves. Scientists suppose, that people ate products from about 700 th. of animals, which had hidden form of disease (first signs can manifest themselves in 8-10 years after contamination). Only in England up to 80 th. of people fall ill. Indigenous breeds are resistant to this disease (especially Grey Hungarian and Grey Ukrainian).

Unpredictability of future demands. Now consumer needs diversified food with different tastes and there are a lot of signs, that this demand will be increasing. Availability of such products will be excluded at the case of mono-breed existence.

Ecological component. Last time there are a lot of information on turning of ecosystems to destruction or complete altering after withdrawing from it one or other breed or species.

Example of such harmonious interaction is met in India. In marshlands of island Chilka there is widespread buffalo Chilka. Its dung and urine support zooplankton, which feeds fish in lakes, which feed people and animals near lakes. Buffaloes Murrah and crossbreds Murrah-Chilka are less adapted to wet conditions and absence of unsalted water for drinking, that causes their inability to adapt at the system.

One more example of organic interaction of unprofitable breeds and environment is Ronaldsey sheep with its high ability to adsorb copper and salt tolerance, which caused its exclusive ability to eat seaweed and is important factor of balance supporting at the place of its growth.

World’s farm animals (especially of unprofitable breeds) are rather widely used for ecological services. Particularly, some of Podolic group breed, to which Grey Ukrainian belongs, is succefully used for pasture balance supporting, grazing perennial bushes (f.e. eleagnus species). Animals with more demandable feed intake can ignore plants, which can suppress other useful plants growth under lack of control conditions. In The State of World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO (2007) is marked, that in Cote d’Ivoire domestic cattle using at open areas reduces application of herbicides.

Slovenia reports, that small livestock, which is grazing at overgrown shrub land, clears this land and in such way reduces the possibility of fire outbreaks (Holstein will not be grazing at shrub land).

Esthetic pleasure. It seems, that esthetic pleasure can not be viewed on importance in one row with genetic factors and food quality, but it is rather important economic constituent. P.Hoyt revealed, that only in 1998 about 9 mln. people watched whales, spending for this $9 billions. When creating parks with Grey Ukrainian one shouldn’t doubt, that there would be a lot of willing ones to look at noble animals with lyra-shaped horns and red calves from grey parents. Pale-grey Lebedyn cows with long lashes and calm sight could be popular as well.

It should be said, that in Korea Republic Burien goats was not popular only because of their appearance (they were not black), though they had higher gains. Only after black Australian goats importing situation was changed.

Country heritage. That is very important component if the country would like to be special and prosperous.

Reduction of production expenses. This point is rather important under market conditions. Local breeds gravely reduce expenses, taking into account their stress- and disease- resistance and undemanding nature.

Rather high level of variability, despite of long time breeding at limited space conditions. The highest variability level is found in local breeds. Despite of prolonged breeding in closed and rather limited in number populations, they saved high variability, unlike Holstein, which is rather inbreeded, despite of wide use in the world.

Hidden genetic load. Comparative evaluation of hidden genetic load level was done and it found, that genetic load in gene pool of Ukrainian dairy and beef cattle is approximately 3-5 %, while in gene pool of commercial breeds of western selection it ranges from 10 to15 %.

The most affecting example of intensive spreading of molecular diseases in the gene pool of commercial breeds and their forcing elimination is the example of lethal gene (BLAD) immigration into gene pool of different breeds. That’s only one of several examples-consequences of unsuccessful not-checked crossing with imported breeds.

One more example of unsuccessful dissemination of genes at the populations is the case with Poni Farm Arlinda Cheef, which is considered to be one of the most prolific bull in all history of Holstein breeding. Chromosomes of legendary bull, born in 1962 counts for almost 14 percent in the genome of current Holstein population of USA. Genetic mutation, which traces to this bull is considered to be responsible for 500,000 spontaneous aborts of Holstein cattle worldwide.

Conclusions. Indigenous breeds bear considerable variability reserve, high cultural, esthetic and ecological value and at least that’s why they uniquely should be stored for future generations.


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How to Cite
Resnikova, N. L. (2017). WHY WE NEED INDIGENOUS BREEDS?. Animal Breeding and Genetics, 53, 50-60. https://doi.org/10.31073/abg.53.07
Conservation of Animal Biodiversity