“We need animals capable of adapting”, in Aveyron genetics serving Lacaune sheep

“We need animals capable of adapting”, in Aveyron genetics serving Lacaune sheep

Pierre Arsac, president of Upra Lacaune and Ioan Romieu, vice-president, on the breed stand at the agricultural show in Paris. PRESS CENTER

The Lacaune sheep breeding organization has been working for several years to make these animals more resilient to climate change.

Anticipate climate change, its impact on livestock farming and animal production. In short, select animals so that they meet the needs of farmers facing "periods of drought, extreme heat, less cold and more humid winters& quot;, with "a budding resource that can become scarce during the season". "We need animals capable of adapting," explains Ioan Romieu, vice-president of Upra Lacaune and breeder on Larzac. "This is already the case today but climatic conditions will evolve towards extremes."

"The decision was taken a little over four years ago to work jointly with INRA (National Institute of Agronomic Research) to select our sheep so that they best respond to these issues," continues Ioan Romieu. "Lacaune sheep adapt particularly well to our spaces. They have been shaped by the place where they live. Our animals are versatile and productive in both extensive systems and more restrictive operations."

"The future of the breed will depend on genetics" 

In fact, breeders must also face "stronger resistance of parasites". On this side- there, work for the dairy sector will be launched during the year . "The future of the breed will pass through genetics," underlines Pierre Arsac, president of Upra lacaune."Reading DNA is easier and much cheaper today than it was a few years ago. The idea is also to increase the longevity of our animals.  We must anticipate the needs of breeders who need resilient animals that are autonomous. The decisions we make today commit us for decades to come. We don't really have the right to make mistakes, recalls Pierre Arsac.

And the leather sector ? 

At the same time, Upra officials are working on other subjects such as the marketing of animals for the leather industry. "But The skins of our animals still need to meet the very strict criteria of these sectors. But we are having discussions with some sluts," confides Pierre Arsac. "This industry is demanding with the quality of the skins. This investment must also be profitable for breeders. Our core business remains milk production and this option will only remain a source of income for our farmers."

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