New film makes a case for conserving East Africa’s elegant long-horned Ankole cattle

The genetic diversity of African livestock is increasingly under threat as indigenous livestock varieties are cross-bred, or slowly replaced, with exotic breeds that produce more milk and meat. Exotic livestock varieties are, however, less resistant to African environmental and climatic challenges and are also less resistant to endemic diseases like trypanosomosis (called ‘sleeping sickness’ in people).

The following 3-minute film highlights an initiative supported by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Uganda that is working to conserve purebred Ankole cattle, a breed native in eastern Africa and relied upon by farmers in at least four countries.

In the film, Daniel Semambo, Director of Uganda’s National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank, outlines the issues facing many developing countries as they try to improve their livestock productivity and at the same time they try to stem losses of their native livestock breeds and genes.

1 thought on “New film makes a case for conserving East Africa’s elegant long-horned Ankole cattle

  1. Its all and good to improve the productivity of the Ankole cattle or any indegimous breeds and this is the only way to ensure their competitiveness.  Beauty alone is not a sufficient reason to keep cattle.

    Hybridisation (or crossbreeding) is an extremely goodthing when it occurs, because it provides us a bigger genetic canvass to create genetic marvels. The Ankole cattle are a result of hybridization (crossbreeding) which happened many centuries past.
    Hybridisation, not "purity", will sustain and assure the future of their genes.

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