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In Slovenia, the breeding of indigenous domestic animals is becoming less attractive, and out of 12 indigenous breed 11 are endangered. The Carniolan honey bee being the only exception. Eleven out of 14 traditional breeds is also endangered. The share of introduced animal breeds and cross-breeds with introduced breeds has been increasing. The breeds and races where the adaptation to natural conditions is the strongest are the most successful with defying the introduced breeds.


This indicator shows breeds and races of domestic animals, trends in the number of animals and breeders who applied for agri-environmental payments - breeding of indigenous and traditional breeds of farm animals, and the distribution of breeds to indigenous, traditional and introduced. The situation in cattle is presented by the number of first inseminations by bulls of particular breeds, which is a good indicator of the number of breeding females, and the use of breeding males. Regarding the origin, the breeds and races of domestic animals were divided into native, traditional and introduced, and regarding endangerness, the species were divided into endangered and non-endangered.

The indigenous domestic animals are breeds which developed in the territory of Slovenia. Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera carnica) is also an indigenous race. Indigenous breeds are defined in the Livestock-Breeding Act which sets out the procedure for their recognition. Traditional breeds are breeds of domestic animals which have adapted to climate and other conditions of a certain area. In the Republic of Slovenia, traditional breeds are those under continuous breeding and under selection supervision for at least fifty years in case of horses, donkeys or cattle, or thirty years for other species. Introduced breeds have developed elsewhere and have not yet adapted to climate and other conditions of Slovenia, or are not under continuous breeding and selection supervision for at least fifty years in case of horses, donkeys or cattle, or thirty years for other species. The level of endangerness was taken from the register of breeds with the zoo-technical evaluation.


Charts

Figure KM16-1: The number of breeds and race by individual species of domestic animals in 2018
Sources: 

Public service tasks of gene bank in animal husbandry, 2019; Central cattle breeding database, 2019; The State of Farm Animal Genetic Resources in Slovenia, 2003

Show data
The number of breeds and race by individual species of domestic animals in 2018

Indigenous – total [number]

Indigenous – endangered [number]

Traditional – total [number]

Traditional – endangered [number]

Exotic – total

Exotic– endangered [number]

Unspecified - total

Unspecified - endangered

Total

Chicken

1

1

4

4

53

nd

0

0

58

Rabbits

0

0

0

0

52

2

0

0

52

Cattle

1

1

2

0

22

nd

1

1

26

Horses

3

3

2

1

6

1

1

1

12

Ducks

0

0

0

0

14

nd

0

0

14

Geese

0

0

0

0

9

nd

0

0

9

Sheep

4

4

1

1

0

0

1

1

6

Pigs

1

1

3

3

1

1

0

0

5

Goats

1

1

2

2

1

0

0

0

4

Turkeys

0

0

0

0

3

nd

0

0

3

Bees

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Dogs

1

1

nd

nd

nd

nd

0

0

nd

Figure KM16-2: Indigenous breeds of domestic animals, the number of breeders who applied for agri-environmental payments - breeding of indigenous and traditional breeds of domestic animals
Sources: 

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food; Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Agricultural Markets and Rural Development, 2019

Show data
Indigenous breeds of domestic animals, the number of breeders who applied for agri-environmental payments - breeding of indigen

Styrian hen [No. of breeders]

Drežnica goat [No. of breeders]

Bovec sheep [No. of breeders]

Istrian Pramenka [No. of breeders]

Bela Krajina Pramenka [No. of breeders]

Jezersko-Solčava sheep [No. of breeders]

Sheep – total [No. of breeders]

Krškopolje pig [No. of breeders]

Cika cattle [No. of breeders]

Posavje horse [No. of breeders]

Slovenian Cold blood horse [No. of breeders]

Lipizzan horse [No. of breeders]

Horses – total [No. of breeders]

2004

9

16

23

5

17

122

167

30

189

123

589

87

799

2005

5

19

26

5

21

119

171

46

220

148

647

81

876

2006

3

19

28

5

21

115

169

47

237

151

648

80

879

2007

3

17

26

5

22

139

192

51

237

163

636

85

884

2008

2

17

25

4

18

136

183

48

226

161

616

83

860

2009

0

14

20

4

15

125

164

34

186

136

464

69

669

2010

1

13

18

5

13

124

160

32

176

121

378

55

554

2011

0

13

18

6

13

125

162

30

170

117

370

54

541

2012

0

14

18

3

13

102

136

35

178

89

287

47

423

2013

0

15

19

4

15

98

136

32

196

98

305

51

454

2014

0

15

18

3

14

102

137

34

223

97

287

51

435

2015

5

15

16

3

13

78

110

33

201

72

153

41

266

2016

7

17

16

3

17

93

129

50

259

89

189

47

325

2017

7

18

18

3

18

93

132

48

256

90

181

45

316

2018

8

20

20

3

18

94

135

47

257

45

179

91

315

2019

14

24

20

5

20

95

140

58

312

101

184

48

333

Figure KM16-3: Indigenous breeds of domestic animals, the number of breeding animals for which breeders have applied for agri-environmental payments - breeding of indigenous and traditional breeds of domestic animals
Sources: 

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food; Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Agricultural Markets and Rural Development, 2019

Show data
The number of breeding animals for which breeders have applied for agri-environmental payments - indig. and tradit. breeds

Styrian hen [No. of animals]

Drežnica goat [No. of animals]

Bovec sheep [No. of animals]

Istrian Pramenka [No. of animals]

Bela Krajina Pramenka [No. of animals]

Jezersko-Solčava sheep [No. of animals]

Sheep – total [No. of animals]

Krškopolje pig [No. of animals]

Cika cattle [No. of animals]

Posavje horse [No. of animals]

Slovenian Cold blood horse [No. of animals]

Lipizzan horse [No. of animals]

Horses – total [No. of animals]

2004

410

210

1353

661

439

3828

6281

292

434

368

1520

504

2392

2005

345

282

1531

602

587

4164

6884

487

535

441

1854

542

2837

2006

492

255

1681

802

614

4133

7230

489

650

488

2009

608

3105

2007

752

279

1506

731

668

4868

7773

592

784

536

2022

602

3160

2008

360

288

1543

752

588

4810

7693

566

829

567

2053

587

3207

2009

0

242

1480

696

447

4546

7169

430

770

525

1683

569

2777

2010

100

242

1505

667

430

4622

7224

459

780

513

1512

554

2579

2011

0

247

1475

643

443

4672

7233

404

756

530

1495

526

2551

2012

0

255

1608

542

406

3855

6411

471

905

492

1282

517

2291

2013

0

284

1622

590

421

3730

6363

399

934

536

1301

535

2372

2014

0

292

1614

585

469

3595

6263

585

1054

548

1248

536

2332

2015

418

333

1521

565

385

2956

5427

630

1086

470

777

504

1751

2016

601

372

1635

662

503

3275

6075

983

1451

617

992

539

2148

2017

581

395

1782

655

528

3408

6373

1004

1569

656

1008

519

2183

2018

711

410

1870

655

532

3385

6442

1058

1626

533

993

660

2186

2019

929

457

1864

686

553

3486

6589

1365

1993

734

1035

567

2336

Figure KM16-4: The number of first insemination of breeding females by individual breed of bulls by years
Sources: 

Central cattle breeding database, Results of Dairy and Beef Recording, 2018

Show data
The number of first insemination of breeding females by individual breed of bulls by years

Simmental [number]

Brown Swiss [number]

Holstein [number]

Charolais [number]

Limousine [number]

Belgian Blue and White [number]

Cika [number]

Other [number]

Total [number]

1967

94915

67823

4712

nd

nd

nd

1405

505

169360

1972

108313

66690

8889

nd

nd

nd

1581

107

185580

1975

106482

68305

11282

697

3407

nd

1282

27

191482

1980

113077

63199

16646

7853

5770

nd

423

nd

206968

1985

126521

73505

20103

4700

2164

nd

160

nd

227153

1990

116642

56262

22672

3955

3481

nd

42

nd

203054

1991

118773

55461

23227

3502

3215

nd

16

nd

204194

1995

119260

45079

25468

4650

5784

123

170

nd

200534

1998

121796

35676

27422

4463

11165

909

350

53

201834

1999

120353

32514

28697

3328

11080

3614

317

105

200008

2000

113827

29338

33257

2689

11564

6432

359

18

197484

2001

112161

27682

35410

2638

12727

7275

417

4

198314

2002

107764

24849

36409

2493

12703

7663

465

3

192349

2003

105512

22130

34784

2426

13374

7714

558

3

186501

2004

103030

19562

34283

2594

13551

8536

546

3

182105

2005

100651

17801

34555

2385

14001

7971

642

58

178064

2006

96601

16368

36355

2645

14042

6720

749

194

173674

2007

93295

15827

37387

2383

13894

5539

795

345

169465

2008

91713

15173

38716

2026

12251

4186

739

379

165183

2009

89740

14237

38553

2161

12101

3754

774

303

161623

2010

86919

13606

39561

2026

12515

3561

780

411

159379

2011

85048

12983

40594

2049

11976

3471

802

554

157477

2012

80896

12177

40476

2203

11541

2927

838

656

151714

2013

76311

10802

39634

1780

11577

2737

930

738

144509

2014

76633

10354

41053

1873

11737

2599

1001

929

146179

2015

76214

9952

42160

1861

12216

2724

1118

1044

147289

2016

72929

9021

40247

1759

13500

2721

1150

1474

142801

2016

66846

8112

38749

1643

12647

2406

1127

1658

133188

2018

63862

7761

38645

1446

13051

2155

1048

1936

129904

Figure KM16-5: The number of first insemination of breeding females with bulls of Cika breed by years
Sources: 

Central cattle breeding database, Results of Dairy and Beef Recording, 2018

Show data
The number of first insemination of breeding females with bulls of Cika breed by years

Cika breed [number]

1967

1405

1972

1581

1975

1282

1980

423

1985

160

1990

42

1991

16

1995

170

1998

350

1999

317

2000

359

2001

417

2002

465

2003

558

2004

546

2005

642

2006

749

2007

795

2008

739

2009

774

2010

780

2011

802

2012

838

2013

930

2014

1001

2015

1118

2016

1150

2016

1127

2018

1048


Goals

  • preserve, to the highest extent possible, the biological diversity in animal husbandry which is the basis for the food production, conservation of landscape diversity and stable income of farms
  • special care must be paid to locally adapted breeds and races, i.e. to indigenous and the traditional ones.

Breeds of domestic animals are part of the natural and cultural heritage. In 1996, Slovenia ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), with an aim to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national levels. Special care must be paid to locally adapted breeds, namely the indigenous and the traditional ones.

Due to the strong competitiveness in a global market of livestock products, the breeding of indigenous and traditional breeds of cattle, pigs and poultry is becoming less attractive. The most interesting breeds on global level present an additional pressure. In Slovenia, the share of introduced animal breeds and their cross-breeds has been constantly increasing. In addition, the locally adapted traditional breeds are strongly influenced by the use of breeding material from other populations. The genes for the currently most interesting commercial properties are being introduced, and therefore the traditional breeds are losing the adjustment to local conditions.

In 2018, Slovenia one race and 190 different breeds of traditional and locally adapted, indigenous and introduced domestic animals were bred, namely 12 breeds of horses, 26 breeds of cattle, 5 pig breeds, 6 sheep breeds, 4 goat breeds, 58 hen breeds, 3 turkey breeds, 14 duck breeds, 9 geese breeds, 50 breeds and 2 lines of rabbits and a race of Carniolan bee. Among them, only 12 were indigenous and 14 traditional breeds and 3 endangered unspecified breeds, while others (161) were introduced. Most introduced breeds and lines we find with hens (53), rabbits (52) and cattle (22). There are at least 4 endangered breeds even among introduced breeds, – 2 lines of rabbits, 1 horse breed and 1 breed of pigs where the Slovenian selection is being carried out. One indigenous and numerous introduced breeds of dogs are also bred.

The level of endangerness of locally adapted breeds is high. 11 out of 14 traditional breeds are endangered. The endangered traditional breeds include 4 breeds of hens, 3 breeds of pig, 2 breeds of goats, 1 horse breed and 1 sheep breed. The level of endangerness of indigenous breeds is even higher. Out of 12 indigenous breeds of domestic animals, 11 were endangered in 2018 – 4 sheep breeds, 3 breeds of horses, and one breed of hens, cattle, pigs and goats each. The only indigenous breed of dogs is engangered as well. The breeds and races where the adaptation to natural conditions is the strongest are the most successful with defying the introduced breeds. Carniolan bee is the only unendangered indigenous breed. Jezersko-Solčava sheep breed has become endangered. The conservation of endangered native breeds requires careful breeding and financial support to the breeders of breeding animals. The turning point was the year 1991, when a gene bank was set up, and the professional services joined their efforts to preserve indigenous breeds. Even more important was the set-up of the breeding organizations which connected the farmers and supporters of individual breeds.

The trends and the number of breeders and indigenous breeds of farm animals were estimated on the basis of applications for agri-environmental payments - breeding of indigenous and traditional breeds of domestic animals. In 2019, Slovenia had 11 indigenous breeds and one race of domestic animals, namely 4 breeds of sheep (6,589 animals), 3 breeds of horses (2,336 animals), and one breed of cattle (1,993 animals), hens (929 animals), goats (457 animals), pigs (1,365 animals), and the race of Carniolan bee. In the period 2008-2019, the number of indigenous farm animal breeds increased by 158% in hens, 141% in pigs, 140% in cattle and 59% in goats. The number of animals decreased by 27% in horses and 14% in sheep. In 2019 Cika cattle breed had the highest number of breeders (312), while only 5 breeders bred Istrian Pramenka sheep. The number of breeders in the period 2008-2019 decreased, mostly for Slovenian Cold blood horse (-70%) At the same time, there was an increase of interest in breeding the indigenous breed - Styria hen - from 2 breeders in 2008 to 14 breeders in 2019. The small number of breeders poses one of the greatest risks of losing the breed.

Slovenia is the original area of the Carniolan bee race. The Carniolan bee is not endangered, but we strive to preserve its original shape. In period from 2017-2019, there were more than 10,000 beekeepers that had 167,000 bee colonies in 2016.

In cattle breeding, which is the most important livestock industry, the number of inseminations with bulls of the traditional breeds Simmental and more Brown Swiss race is rapidly declining, and the number of inseminations with the introduced Holstein breed and introduced beef breeds is increasing. Between 1991 and 2018, the number of first insemination with Brown Swiss bulls has decreased by 73% and Simmental breed by 46%

An example of a successful breeding work is the Cika cattle breed where the number of first insemination of breeding cows increased 65 times from 1991 to 2018, but their share is still less than 1%.

The intensified professional work for the conservation of domestic animals breeds and the set-up of gene banks and breeders' organizations have generally improved the situation of endangered breeds, or at least not deteriorated as rapidly as before. On the other hand, the situation is worse in the case of traditional breeds not enjoying any special protection scheme. Some of them are not able to defy the pressure of more competitive breeds, therefore their number is decreasing.



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