It is anticipated that various organizations that have an interest in conservation of farm animal genetic resources can have requests for support for various activities relating to animal genetic resources conservancy. These may range from requests to support the establishment and protection of a specific breed to general support for conservation, breeding research, biotechnology and long-term preservation methodology. There may also be requests for support through provision of technical information, how-to guides and sources of specific genetic resources.
The Canadian Animal Germplasm Technical Experts Board and the Canadian Steering Committee on Animal Germplasm will be the main advisors to these organizations on how to support those activities that will provide the most common good relative to conservation of farm animal genetic resources.
For example, advice to an organization could involve it taking a specific action within its jurisdiction, providing direct financial support to an external activity, recommending the activity to a third party for support or establishing a publicly-financed means of support for activities (a Trust or Foundation). In developing the latter approach, it is imperative that such an activity avoids impeding the activities at the grass-roots level by competing for funding. This is a key element that needs to be resolved so that conservation of animal genetic resources can grow, conservancy efforts can benefit and supportive research is conducted. The research efforts include evaluation of breeds and population numbers, and genetic variation; cryopreservation; application of new technologies to improve use of conserved animal genetic resources; all to engender stronger industry support.
Recommendations to third parties could include for example, requesting commercial organizations involved in frozen semen and embryos to review policies on disposal of semen that is no longer commercially valuable and consider establishing a gene bank for such resources that would be a significant contribution to conservation of animal genetic resources.
Public financial resources, which are unlikely to become more available, severely limit organizations to activities to which existing resources could be shifted. The Canadian Animal Germplasm Technical Experts Board can, for example, make recommendations to third parties such as marketing boards to make available quotas in support for conservancy effort.
The on-going conservation effort at the grass-roots level, in particular, emergency conservation action, needs support. A means to increase support of this effort including raising public awareness should be addressed.
Looking ahead, the following are key components of an action plan that will require the commitment and on-going support from all organizations interested in conservation and research of farm animal genetic resources.