Selection and Preservation of Breeds with Low Numbers
Genetic selection offers many assets for the promotion of French breeds and improvement in standards but, above all, it is essential for preserving breeds with low numbers. There are currently 15 breeds with very low numbers in France, i.e. populations with fewer than 1000 individuals listed per breed (Ref. France Génétique Elevage, 2014): the Bretonne Pie Noir, the Froment du Léon, the Armoricaine, the Saosnoise, the Nantaise, the Maraichine, the Bordelaise, the Béarnaise, the Lourdaise, the Casta, the Mirandaise, the Ferrandaise, the Villard de Lans, the Hérens and the Corse.
The preservation of these breed
Numerous players collaborate to support the preservation of these breeds: farmers and farmers’ associations, semen production centres, regional parks and conservatories, the National Cryobank, etc. Selection companies are guarantors of the preservation of the genetic resource. They can sample the bulls chosen and build a stock of semen available to breeders.