The importance of autochthonous breeds in sustainable production
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Autochthonous breeds are the pillar of sustainable animal production worldwide. From a total of 8719 livestock breeds, 26 percent are classified as at risk of extinction, 13 percent as not at risk, 6 percent as extinct and 55 percent as being of unknown risk status. Therefore, conservation is of high priority. The Podolian cattle is one of the most endangered breed from the list of native breeds of livestock in Serbia. In 2021 only 338 breeding animals were registered. The breed is known as a precious resource of the local landscape enrichment, national heritage and history. According to the population size of the Podolian cattle, a slight increasing tendency can be evidented. The population size is variable (154 breeding animals in 2009, 252 in 2010, 270 in 2011, 260 in 2012, 264 in 2013, 306 in 2014, 258 in 2015, 263 in 2016, 338 in 2017, 317 in 2018, 357 in 2019, 416 in 2020 and 338 in 2021). The Podolian cattle population in Serbia belongs to the I group (critically endangered). Ov...er the time the governmental subsidies influenced the overall slight increase of the number of breeding animals, but the population size is not stabile. Improved conservation program should be applied to save the autochthonous endangered breed suitable for heritage oriented sustainable production in an authentic environment.