In this paper, major natural, environmental factors are identified and the way these factors can influence the breeding goal is discussed. It is denoted, that breeding goal definition should comply with the perspective of the principal decision-maker in animal breeding, i.e. the individual farmer. There are two ways by which environmental factors influence breeding goals. Firstly, in cases where external inputs are not freely tradable, the base of evaluation is affected in that profit or costs are expressed per unit of input and more specifically per unit of feed input. Secondly, environmental costs may be internalized in the production equation, like costs for housing and manure management to deal appropriately with environmental effects of intensive production systems. Trends in livestock production reduce the numbers of breeds utilized. Maintenance of variation among lines and breeds through diversification in breeding goals, however, remains justified to serve various markets and environments and to deal with risk. When natural, environmental factors, from a common ‘worldwide’ interest, are to influence breeding goals, economic incentives like subsidies and legislation are likely to have the most direct impact.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 27: Reproduction; fish breeding; genetics and the environment; genetics in agricultural systems; disease resistance; animal welf, , 129–136, 1998
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