To make optimal use of existing genetic variation between and within populations breeding programmes are designed.
Breeding organisations attempt to maintain genetic diversity in their breeding populations, and to monitor and control the rate of inbreeding. Breeding organisations will contribute semen and/or embryos to (national) gene banks for relevant breeds/lines to ensure conservation of biodiversity.
Diversity and distinctiveness
Future genetic improvement relies on farm animal genetic resources and genetic variation. Diversity of breeds and their farming systems highly contribute to European food products quality and diversity. Farm animal genetic resources are opportunities to maintain a vital countryside.