Modern animal breeding
Animal breeding can be explained as the selective crossing of domestic animals that have desirable qualities resulting in improved offspring. These ‘qualities’ are translated as breeding values for a number of interesting traits.
A few examples of these traits are known of everyone, as milk production and quality. In the last decades traits related to disease resistance, animal welfare, robustness, fertility, longevity, the reduction of the impact in the environment (e.g. methane reduction) and better use of feed resources have intensified their importance in animal breeding programs.
Modern animal breeding is a strong cornerstone to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
WHY IS ANIMAL BREEDING IMPORTANT?
In the context of climate warming and biodiversity loss, the way we produce and consume is under reflection and can be reviewed. Animal breeding is playing an important role in reducing the impacts of animal farming and to help farmers becoming more sustainable.
The European Union plays a leading role on increasing sustainability of food production. European Animal breeding is a cornerstone of this improvement, and is leading swiftly for more sustainable animal production with the collaboration of other sectors. EFFAB is part of several platforms and key groups in order to make progress all together.
Animal breeders are highly engaged in combining multiple traits related to animal health and welfare, public health, climate change and the quantity and quality of animal products for diverse and sustainable farming systems.
Animal breeding is essential to provide nutritious and safe food for populations.
Animal breeders perform breeding programs for a wide range of farming systems.
They also participate in the preservation, improvement and promotion of local breeds.
Responsible and balanced breeding
Balanced and responsible breeding means to find a sustainable compromise for people, the planet and farmed animals between traits related to the health and welfare of animals, their environmental impacts and the quality and the quantity of the production (milk, meat, fish meat and eggs) whilst keep genetic diversity. Currently, pigs and poultry only need half of the feed than 40 years ago. Other examples of breeding elements are: improving robustness and longevity of dairy, leg strength in both pigs and poultry, reducing misbehaviour in pigs, osteoporosis in laying hens and resistance to diseases in aquaculture species.Read more
How to adopt it
Breeding organisations can adopt Code-EFABAR®, by making clear how they have undertaken steps to comply with the general statements of Code-EFABAR®. These General Statements can be found in the ‘Code of Good Practice for Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction Organisations”.Read more