Friday, 21 April 2017

R is for Rare Breeds Survival Trust ...



The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is a conservation charity, founded in 1973 to preserve native breeds and since its establishment, no UK-native breed has become extinct.


 It maintains a watch list of native breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, goats and poultry, and an approved list of farm parks.


Boeray Sheep - critical:
in the St Kilda archipelago off the west
coast of Scotland


Projects have included the collection of genetic material to ensure the future of rare breeds in a farm animal “gene bank”.



They also support the marketing of meat from rare breeds …




British Lop  - endangered.
Originating from north Cornwall/west Devon areas

Some of the breeds I have mentioned … but as you’ll see from the A-Z series I’ve broadened my horizons … so I can vaguely comply with the A-Z.




Sussex Hen - these are common
and have been around since
Roman times


Between 1900 and 1973 we lost 26 native breeds of livestock, as well as many varieties of poultry.  There are adjunct rare breed organisations for Poultry, Turkeys, Geese and Waterfowl …





Welsh Mountain Pony

There are also individual breed specialists … and the watch-lists get added to as and when necessary … while the society also keeps an eye on the feral populations …




Feral Goat in Findhorn Valley, Moray, Scotland

Breeds of Irish origin, which are found in the UK, and historically have been part of British Agriculture are included in the monitoring process: Kerry cattle; Galway sheep; Irish Draught Horse and Connemara Pony.



Dales Pony - critical

The UK has a wide variety of genetic resources available to respond to disease threats … and to keep the gene bank in a high state of alert … something that has become more and more obvious in today’s agricultural market place.



Whitebred Shorthorn - critical

That is R for those Rare Breeds, which are native to the United Kingdom … so we can Retain and Record and Protect our Rare Breeds … from Aspects of British County Rare Breeds …



Counties with the letter R
(note some Counties have been retired!, or amended over historical local government … but some I’ve included)
England: Rutland
Northern Ireland: None
Scotland:  Renfrewshire; Ross and Cromarty; Ross-shire; Roxburghshire
Wales:  Radnorshire


Rare Breeds Survival Trust ... this trust covers all breeds



Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

40 comments:

Anabel Marsh said...

That's an impressive statistic in your first paragraph! Conservation works.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

The British Lop almost looks like a cross between a pig and a cow (a very short-legged cow that would be difficult to milk.)

Saving rare breeds of farm animals is a special project of Prince Charles, isn't it?

http://poetryfromthelanai.blogspot.com

DeeDee said...

For some reason,I found the Dales Pony to be the most amazing
Thanks for sharing

A Peice Of My Life

Vinodini Iyer said...

Conserving such rare species is very important. So many species are going extinct these days. I'm glad there are people who are working towards it.

Elephant's Child said...

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is an incredible success story. One which I wish was replicated world wide.
We need the diversity we are losing... Badly.

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

What an achievement! If only every country paid enough attention to the conservation of its flora and fauna.

beste barki said...

If every country could be like the UK.....

FinnBadger said...

It is great that there is a society devoted to preserving these breeds.

Phillip | R is for Reconnecting

Joanne said...

Excellent organization dedicated to preservation. Was not aware of so many breeds on the cusp. Jolly good!

Out on the prairie said...

That pony pulling the cart is elegant, a favorite competition for me to watch

Jean Davis said...

That pig is huge! And again with those ears over the eyes. It does make me wonder where that developed and why it's stayed with those pigs as it seems like it would put in them danger.

Love the chicken too. I've seen that type in artwork, but didn't know what they were called. Now I do. :)
Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anabel - yes conservation that is maintained definitely does work ...

@ Gail - the British Lop is very impressive isn't she ... but rather large!

Prince Charles has supported the RBST and in particular is helping with the Whitebred Shorthorn Cattle which are in the critical category - this can be read more about here ...

http://www.princeofwalescharitablefoundation.org.uk/beneficiaries/rare-breeds-survival-trust

Princess Anne and the Queen, who both farm, ... keep rare breeds of various sorts - the Queen is very fond of horses, probably Princess Anne is too ... and I think she has Gloucester Old Spot pigs - so thank you for reminding us about the work the Royals do ...

@ DeeDee - the Dale does look a delightful little pony doesn't it ...

@ Vinodini - I agree it has been good to learn and see how many animal breeds are being conserved ...

@ EC - the RBST seems to have pretty good handle on things ... and are open to working with farmers etc - there are survival breeds in other countries ... but more can be done ... Diversity is essential ...

@ Cynthia - yes if only many other countries would set up Rare Breed organisations to protect these special animals ...

@ Beste - we have set a trend here ... the UK does some things well ...

@ Phillip - it's quite a broad society ... with many associations attached in to it ...

@ Joanne - there are subsidiary organisations too - so there's quite of genetic information held 'on hand' for use and for reference purposes ...

@ Steve - that Welsh pony is pretty pretty! isn't she ... these sorts of shows attract quite large crowds ...

@ Jean - yes the pig is huge ... I did answer the pig ear scenario under P for Pig ... it's to keep the sun out of their eyes, and/or keep the dust and dirt from their eyes when snuffling around - well that's my (un)educated guess?!

The chickens are a delight aren't they ... and they do crop on cards, or in paintings ... there were a lot more under my N for Notable Breeds post ...

Thanks so much to you all - glad you're happy to see the RBST and the work it does - cheers Hilary

Chicky Kadambari said...

That Dales Pony looks gorgeous. I wish I had one on my farm! Oh, but I would need the farm first, right? :P
Oh well...
Happy AtoZing!
Chicky @ www.mysteriouskaddu.com

Keith's Ramblings said...

The RBST is something we should very proud of. I wish there was more awareness of the amazing work they carry out behind the scenes.

Another day in Amble Bay!

Susan Scott said...

Thank heavens these magnificent creatures are being looked after via gene pools. We'd be impoverished if they were no longer around.
Thanks Hilary and have a wonderful weekend!

Liz A. said...

What a great organization.

Deborah Weber said...

What an impressive success rate of the Trust - that's really something to celebrate. Thank heavens for organizations like this!

Shirley Corder said...

That's an amazing statistic at the beginning. I wish that could be said our South African groups that fight to preserve endangered species. We've lost a few in my life-time, and others are facing extinction in the next few years. So sad.

LD Masterson said...

This makes me a little sad. Happy for the UK but sad for our country. The current administration does not support protecting endangered species and I'm afraid of the damage that may be done before we can push the pendulum back the other way.

Bob Scotney said...

I hadn't heard of the RBST before. They need to make people more aware of they existence (as Rutland has had to do more than once).

John Holton said...

I haven't exactly figured out the whole county thing in England, with borders changing, counties changing their names, etc. etc.

It's great that there are societies that keep certain breeds alive and viable. Cross-breeding can be a good thing in producing healthier animals, but losing the original breeds is sad.

Courtney Turner said...

That rare pig has such a tiny head for the size of his body! Maui Jungalow

Arlee Bird said...

Such an array of animal breeds. Good that someone keeps track of the different kinds and preserves their heritage.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Jo said...

I was trying to remember the breed of small horses at the Royal Stables. I know you wrote about them.

It is such a pity that we lost so many breeds in the past.

Nilanjana Bose said...

That's sad you lost so many, but getting a system organised early on is the key to conservation. They are doing some sterling work.

Best
Nila
Madly-in-Verse

Nick Wilford said...

Glad to see it's having success and making use of genetic technology. I guess that wouldn't have been so easy before 1973.

bookworm said...

That Sussex Hen is beautiful. Reminds me somewhat of a White Brahma hen, except it appears the Sussex doesn't have feathered feet. I had White Brahmas years ago when I owed chickens and they were so gentle (and also were good brooders and mothers.) The Unknown Journey Ahead agingonthespectrum.blogspot.com

Birgit said...

I never thought of these animals as being endangered. You have opened up my eyes especially with the pony and cow being critical. How many of them are left?? The black goat is surreal looking.

Betsy Brock said...

I love that Sussex Hen! So pretty! I wish I had a dozen of those cuties in a large coup in my yard. Oh the eggs would be wonderful! :)

Emily Bloomquist said...

The Sussex Hen is beautiful. Great to hear that no animals have gone extinct since the conservation charity began. Well done, Rare Breeds Survival Trust! I hope other countries follow your example.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Reinventing a 2.4 km beach front boardwalk

Sue Bursztynski said...

I'm betting that breed of hen has appeared in the illustrations of children's books. I do feel a soft spot for that sheep on St Skilda, as I live near the beachside suburb of that name in Melbournr!

It's puzzling, though, how so many farm animals can be endangered as a species- I suppose people just aren't breeding them any more. People tend to breed animals for their own financial convenience. Turkeys, for example, bred for eating, are often bred to have huge breasts which people enjoy eating, but which prevent them from natural mating.

Leslie Moon said...

So glad they are so active in preserving these breeds for the future.

A Piece of Uganda

bazza said...

That British Lop is a big'ol unit. I wonder if she's pregnant or just carrying a lot of bacon?
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s deficient Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Chicky – the Dales pony is pretty special isn’t it. Yes farm first, pony later … dreams are what these thoughts are made of … and I hope you succeed one day …

@ Keith - we should be proud of them – they do advertise … but that costs a huge amount, while there are specialist magazines etc – if one is in the mix … then the RBST is out there … I am much more aware of what’s going on now – having written these posts …

@ Susan – yes –we are lucky that concerned patrons took on the role of looking after their particular passion and together formed the overarching RBST body … we need the different characteristics each breed has – we never know when they might be needed …

@ Liz – it is incredible what the RBST do …

@ Deborah – we are lucky and there are certainly a lot of dedicated people around …

@ Shirley – when you look at what the RBST do and have established it sets examples for others to follow. South Africa unfortunately has other aspects that get in the way … and I know you’ve lost a few species – let’s hope a healthy foundation can be laid for the Rare Breeds …

@ LD – we are quite protective of things over here … and realise the need for care and concern for our native breeds. I hope sufficient stocks are maintained in the States and that pendulum can be pushed back …

@ Bob – gosh hadn’t you heard about the Rare Breeds Survival Trust … I remember how Rutland had to fight for its county survival – and it won …

@ John – I know in recent years the politics of boundaries is a complex issue – that I won’t start on … if you forgive me! I grew up before all the changes started happening … and I’d rather have the ‘old counties’ that I knew … but it’s what we’ve got – I just thought this theme was one where I could list the counties out: then got myself somewhat tied in knots because of the various changes – this doesn’t help much does it!

As to the various societies and organisations making sure the various breeds that need protection are secure for the future and not critical or endangered in their numbers …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Courtney – yes the British Lop does have a huge body …

@ Lee – we’re lucky with the RBST having records and control with the stock of rare breeds …

@ Jo – I’m not good on horses … but I did write about them – Horses – the Counter Balance to Monarchy. The two Wars didn’t help and it took a while before anyone realised that there were serious losses in our Rare Breeds …

@ Nila – at least people were able to rally round and help each other with the various endangered and critical Rare Breeds – and now we have the organisation and specialist organisations or associations to look after the breeds …

@ Nick – I think there’s still a lot of worries – particularly for the critical breeds … even before 1973 – those in the know would have realised we needed to preserve ‘the best’ … as they’d been doing since the 1700s … eg the breeding of race horses

@ Bookworm – the Sussex Hen did look beautiful – so she had to go in, even though not a Rare Breed … The Brahmas I see arrived here in the UK around 1840 – 50 from India, though the species was created in America from large feather legged birds known as Shanghais, imported from China in the 1840s … and there’s more history … but ‘your feathers’ were there in the American hens …

@ Birgit – yes lots of the rare breeds are listed on the watch list of critical, endangered, vulnerable, at risk, and minority … I’m sure if you check out the Association there’ll be a records … low in numbers … The feral goat is pretty majestic isn’t it?!

@ Betsy – the hens are pretty aren’t they – and they’d look good in your garden and the eggs – special indeed …

@ Emily – another Sussex hen lover. It is good to know that they are managing to keep the breeds alive and building up the stock – though with some difficulty at times. I’m sure other countries have noted the Rare Breeds Survival Trust we have here … and I’m sure there is a lot of interaction and swapping of information …

@ Sue- well certainly one or two of the hens would have appeared in children’s books – what a lovely place to live –down under in Melbourne – sounds delightful!

I think a lot of the different breeds weren’t realised and it’s taken a while to realise the value in some of the feral herds – while obviously as you say – the farmers need to farm to be financially viable … Rare Breed conservation takes extra resources and specialist conservators … it’s definitely happening …

@ Leslie – it is a wonderful thing to know the Rare Breeds Survival Trust is there …

@ Bazza – lots of bacon I would think .. but she’s a very impressive pig …

Thanks everyone so much – and for your interested comments … cheers Hilary

Bob said...

That's a lot of Lop, H. Wow!
Great posts.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

The US has long had laws protecting endangered species, but with our current president, that may no longer be the case. That, along with many other things, is very disheartening. Good for the U.K. for doing the right thing.

Sara C. Snider said...

It's encouraging that no breeds have gone extinct since the trust was formed. Hopefully that trend will continue.

That feral goat is an intimidating fellow. Wouldn't want to meet him on a dark and stormy night. ;)

A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

DMS said...

Glad to see conservation efforts for different species/breeds. So important! :)
~Jess

Deniz Bevan said...

Love sheep! I'm glad about all these conservation efforts, too!