"Taking Stock" uses a national inventory of breeds to describe the
status of livestock genetic diversity in the United States. The book
considers the impact of current agricultural trends on these genetic
resources, describes the significance of livestock for sustainable
agriculture and makes the case for livestock conservation.
"Taking Stock" reports on asses, cattle, goats, horses, sheep and
swine, with information on all breeds within each species, graphs to
illustrate genetic status and breed association addresses.
Appendices describe the past extinctions of American breeds and
present data on feral livestock populations. (Poultry will be the
subject of a 1994-1995 census.)
The report identifies 77 breeds as conservation priorities, about 30
of which are unique to North America. They include American Mammoth
Jackstock, Milking Devon cattle, Fainting goats, Spanish Mustangs,
Navajo-Churro sheep and Ossabaw Island swine. Also of great
importance are those globally endangered international breeds for
which the North American population is a significant portion, such as
Cotswold sheep, Red Poll cattle and Tamworth swine.
These domestic breeds have become rare due to agricultural
industrialization and the decline of the diversified farm. Yet
because these breeds are divergent from modern industrial types, they
are well suited to today's sustainable, organic and low-input farms
and represent significant genetic diversity for the future.
"Taking Stock: The North American Livestock Census" is available from
the ALBC for $14.95, plus $2 postage to North America or $6 airmail
to other countries. To order, send a check or money order, payable
in U.S. funds, to: ALBC, P.O. Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312 USA. Call
(919) 542-5704 or fax (919) 542-2460 to charge your order to
Mastercard or Visa. For more information, contact Don Bixby or
Carolyn Christman at the ALBC.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a nonprofit membership
organization conserving genetic diversity by protecting endangered
livestock and poultry breeds from extinction. In addition to
investigations of breed status and characteristics, ALBC operates a
semen bank for rare breeds, provides technical support to breeders
and associations and supports an extensive education program to
expand public advocacy for livestock use and conservation. The ALBC
is the only livestock genetic conservation organization in the United