The Government's advisory body, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), this week released their report on UK biodiversity targets. The report states that the UK is making progress towards 'Aichi Target 13', which is concerned with genetic diversity, but at an insufficient rate.

It states: “Despite significant progress implementing strategies for the conservation of genetic resources…progress is assessed as insufficient in recognition of published declines in the effective population size of some native animal breeds.”

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) is a charity dedicated to promoting and preserving the UK's rare and native breeds of farm livestock. In response to the report, the organisation's CEO Christopher Price stated:

“The Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s report on the UK’s compliance with global biodiversity targets highlights that we are failing to prevent the decline in our native livestock breeds. This makes clear the need for government to invest in their conservation through future agricultural policies. As well as being a fundamental part of our country’s biodiversity, native breeds provide a major contribution to our rural economy and our national identity”.

RBST are working with the Government and encouraging them to redouble efforts by drawing up a specific native livestock conservation strategy for the UK. This will help maintain the genetic diversity of farmed animals and provide a basis for future strategies.

Read full JNCC report