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Martyniuk E.,Warsaw University of Life Sciences | Martyniuk E.,National Research Institute of Animal Production | Saether N.,Norwegian Genetic Resource Center | Berger B.,Institute of Organic Farming and Biodiversity of Farm Animals | Krupinski J.,National Research Institute of Animal Production
Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica A: Animal Sciences | Year: 2014

Due to the competition with high yielding international dairy breeds, many local cattle breeds that traditionally supplied the European dairy market are being marginalised and thus increasingly endangered. While there are many options to enhance profitability of dairy utilisation of local dual purpose cattle breeds, in some of them, for various reasons, milk utilisation is continuously declining and dairy herds are gradually transformed into less labour demanding suckling herds. However, sometimes there is no consensus among breeders and breeding organisations on dividing dual-purpose breeds into dairy and beef subpopulations. The paper examines the pros and cons of this approach using case studies from Poland, Norway and Austria. While there are disadvantages in turning a breed traditionally milked to beef production, sometimes it is the only valid option to continue its utilisation. Therefore, trade-offs need to be considered and conservation steps taken before starting the transformation of a breed. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

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