Conservation and sustainable use Livestock

The Federal Government and the federal countries adopt the National Programme for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Animal Genetic Resources in Germany.

Conservation and sustainable use

For livestock breeds, their use in sustainable agriculture is the best form of conservation. For endangered livestock breeds, additional measures for their conservation are necessary.

In the conservation of the diversity of livestock breeds, a distinction is made between two areas of Action:

1. conservation in agriculture, including landscape management (on-farm conservation or in situ conservation)

2. conservation outside agricultural use, for example in gene banks or zoos (ex situ conservation)

For the conservation of highly endangered livestock breeds, ideally both areas of action should be linked. For example, cryo-preserved semen or breeding animals kept in zoos (ex-situ conservation) can also be used in a conservation breeding programme (in-situ conservation).

On-farm conservation and sustainable use

The best way to conserve the diversity of native livestock breeds is their use in sustainable agriculture.

landscape conservation

Grassland with high biodiversity is often the result of grazing with native livestock breeds. The best way to protect this biodiversity is to continue traditional grazing.

Gene Bank

The ex situ-conservation of endangered native livestock breeds focus’ on the cryo-preservation of semen. For this, the „Deutsche Genbank landwirtschaftlicher Nutztiere“ has been founded.


In addition to the conservation of wild species many zoos engage for the conservation of endangered livestock breeds, too.

Poultry workshop

The conservation and the utilization of native poultry breeds require additional efforts. This was discussed during a workshop on 2nd December 2017 in Leipzig.


Holger Göderz
+49 (0) 228 / 6845-3370

Lisa Balzar
+49 (0) 228 / 6845-3671

Federal Office for Agriculture
and Food
Unit 331
Deichmanns Aue 29
D-53179 Bonn