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Fit for purpose – the right animal in the right place


The development pathway for tropical livestock production for many years in the twentieth century was to upgrade or replace indigenous stock with exotics of supposedly higher genetic merit. Early indications that this might not be the most appropriate approach were largely ignored. Later there was a reverse movement towards locally developed species and breeds. These were seen as pools of irreplaceable genetic material of unacknowledged merit and value that must not be lost but must be conserved for possible unknown unseen future use. This paper examines the use of various native species and breeds. It goes on to describe some attempts at the introduction of genetically engineered highly productive (at least in their areas of origin) stock. Examples of attempts to produce cross or synthetic breeds are then provided. In a last section the case for the right animal in the right place - and these may be unconventional species and breeds - is provided.

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Correspondence to R. Trevor Wilson.

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Wilson, R.T. Fit for purpose – the right animal in the right place. Trop Anim Health Prod 41, 1081–1090 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-008-9274-7

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  • Adaptation
  • Domestic animal genetic resources
  • Production systems
  • Single purpose breeds
  • Crossbreeding