Written Paper

Genetic resources and diversity in Pakistani sheep  [2007]

Khan, M.S. (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan). Dept. of Animal Breeding and Genetics) Khan, M.A. (NWFP Department of Livestock and Dairy Development, Peshawar (Pakistan)) Ahmad, S. (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan). Dept. of Animal Breeding and Genetics) Mahmood, S. (Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Dept., Lahore (Pakistan))

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Rich genetic diversity of Pakistani sheep genetic resources is unexploited. There are at least 25 sheep breeds available in the country apart from the wild relatives such as Urial, Bharal, Argali and Blue sheep. Sheep population is estimated at 26.5 millions and trend is almost static. Documentation of these genetic resources has been very sporadic and many breeds need to be described and performance recorded. Although, mutton and carpet wool are the major products, some breeds have wool as the main utility. Adult weight may vary between 18 and 70 kg and variation in size, shape orientation of horns, fleece color and other attributes is great. Failed attempts to develop new breeds in the past should provide a lesson to focus on development and improved utilization of indigenous resources. Capacity building of farmers can help achieve this goal. Breeds are taken as granted and there is need to improve realization to at least keep these resources in the present status, if not improved for the next generations. This paper describes the sheep genetic resources available in Pakistan and diversity among them.

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International Journal of Agriculture and Biology (Pakistan)

ISSN : 1560-8530