Three Gujarat breeds get national recognition

By Prashant Rupera on Oct. 29, 2018 in Environment and Ecology

Vadodara/ Anand: Three breeds of a goat, a sheep and a donkey indigenous to Gujarat have received national recognition, paving way for their better conservation and preservation of their genes.

The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), the nodal agency of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), for registration of new breeds has given independent-breed status to Kahmi goat, Panchali sheep and Halari donkey - the breeds which are mainly found in Saurashtra region of Gujarat.

Names of these breeds are derived either from the origin of their tract of due to their distinct features. Both the Halari donkey and Panchali sheep are named because their origins are traced in Halar region (Jamnagar district) and Panchal region (Surandranagar) of Saurashtra. Kahmi is local name of the two-coloured goat.

Interestingly, Halari breed is the second donkey breed to be recognised in the country after Spiti - the donkey breed which is indigenous to Spiti Valley region of Himachal Pradesh.

"They are shorter than horse but taller than other normally seen donkey breeds," said professor D N Rank, head of the animal genetics and breeding department of veterinary college of Anand Agricultural University (AAU).

With funding from animal husandry department of Gujarat government, AAU and Kutch-based NGO - Sahajeevan - had carried out survey of these unrecognised breeds, sudied their phenotypic an dgenetic characterization after which the state government had submitted a proposal to the central government for recognition of these breeds last year.

After addition of these three new breeds Gujarat now has total 21 breeds of livestock which are nationally recognised.

"These breeds have naturally adapted to the biodiversity of the region where they belong and they need to be conserved," said Rank.

Newly identified breeds are approved by the breed registration committee of ICAR which is headed by deputy director general (animal sciences) of ICAR and has representation from the National Biodiversity Authority Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of India, additional directorgenerals of ICAR, Directors of ICARs species specific animal science institutes and NBAGR.

The committee in its meeting last month at New Delhi had approved regi9stration of 14 new breeds of livestock and poultry from across the country. This included two breeds of cattle, two breeds of buffalo, six breeds of goat, and one breed each of sheep, pig, donkey and chicken.

After including these newly registered breeds, the total number of indigenous breeds in the country now stands at 183 including 43 cattle, 15 buffalo, 34 goat, 43 sheep, 7 horses and ponies, nine camel, eight pig, two donkey, one yak, 19 chicken and one each breed of duck and geeese.

First published by The Times of India on Oct. 10, 2018


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