Conservation and utilization of genetic resource of local breeds is one of research missions in animal sciences as part of continued agriculture. There are four major tasks in the establishment of animal germplasm conservations; collection, maintenance, evaluation, and utilization. Germplasm may be defined as the total genetic diversity of a species. Continued increases in animal production require improved varieties, and animal improvement is certainly dependent upon genetic diversity. Germplasm preservations maintain portions of this diversity to meet the needs of the animal breeders and producers, sometimes even to serve out society from a culture aspect.
The local breeds usually has a smaller body size, slower growth rate and less lean meat content but had one or more adapting characteristics to their living environment in the past, such as prolificacy of Taoyuan pig, heat tolerance of yellow cattle, disease-resistance of water buffalo, twinning of black goat, prolific laying ability of Tsaiya duck, roughage tolerance of Chinese goose, meat flavor of country chicken, and early maturity of miniature pig. They have lived on the same piece of earth with us for many years but they need to face the fate of elimination from the market-place due to less production values and interbred with other exotic varieties frequently. Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, included her animal propagation stations and research stations together with universities' Animal Science Department under financial support in part from the Council of Agriculture, Republic of China, have conducted the nation-wise project of animal germplasm conservation program to save these native animals since 1987.
Animal Genetic Resources Information Network
Taiwan Livestock Research Institute
Council of Agriculture
112 Muchang, Hsinhua, Tainan,
Taiwan 712 (R.O.C.)
Tel: 886-6-5911211 ext. 312