Future section


290th Meeting - Tuesday, July 10th 2007

“More tribes at risk – in Farm Animal Genetic Resources.
The Thai situation”

A talk and DVD presentation
by Dr Vanida Khumnirdpetch and David Steane

The word ‘tribes’ refers to ‘breeds’ in animal terms. Many breeds are at serious risk of being extinct while, as yet, we do not know sufficient about their genetics and their qualities.  Many breeds have been replaced, or are in the process of being, by breeds from the ‘developed’ world simply on the basis that, in their own environment, they give better output. However in the local environment they usually do not perform well and create situations either of debt or where the farmer is forced to adopt practices which cost much for relatively little gain. To give an example, the Holstein Friesian is used in Thailand and can hardly breed well enough to maintain a pure bred herd while the milk yield is about 30-40% of temperate country yields.  The breed loss globally is very serious and FAO has been addressing this aspect for some years culminating in a global conference in Interlaken in September this year at which a global policy and priorities will be hopefully agreed!  The long-term effect is lack of sustainable production and no adapted breeds remaining to take up the task once the affects of the additional inputs on environment and cost are fully considered.

David Steane: Over 20 years as Head of Animal breeding for the Meat and Livestock Commission in Britain (MLC was the development agency for beef cattle, sheep and pigs). Then in June 1989 joined FAO at the Headquarters in Rome as Animal Production Officer and in December 1993 moved to Bangkok as Chief Technical Adviser to a regional project “Conservation and Use of Farm Animal Genetic Resources in Asia” covering 12 countries. I retired late 1999 and now am Adviser on genetics and biodiversity to the Thai Department of Livestock Development (DLD), I do occasional lectures at CMU and other universities and am a consultant in Livestock Production and Management of Animal Genetic Resources.

Dr Vanida graduated from Kasetsart University, did a Masters there and then went to one of the world’s major locations for animal breeding –University of Guelph in Canada, to do a Ph.D.  She works for the DLD in the Animal Husbandry Division and is responsible for Genetic Diversity and Agricultural Biodiversity. She is also the National Coordinator for Animal Genetic Resources and represents Thailand at the international on this subject – particularly with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).


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