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Socioeconomic causes of loss of animal genetic diversity: analysis and assessment

The number of breeds of domesticated animals, especially livestock, have declined rapidly. The proximate causes and processes involved in loss of breeds are outlined. Also the path-dependent effect and Swanson’s dominance-effect are discussed in relation to lock-in of breed selection. While these effects help to explain genetic erosion, they need to be supplemented to provide further explanation of biodiversity loss. In the respect, it is shown that the extension of markets and economic globalisation have contributed significantly to the loss of breeds. In addition, the decoupling of animal husbandry from surrounding natural environmental conditions, particularly industrialised intensive animal husbandry, is further eroding the stock of genetic resources. Recent trends in animal husbandry raise serious sustainability issues, apart from animal welfare concerns.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 365-376

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:45:y:2003:i:3:p:365-376
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Seidl, Irmi & Tisdell, Clement A., 2000. "Neglected Features of the Safe Minimum Standard: Socio-economics and Institutional Dimensions," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48000, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  3. Tisdell, Clem & Seidl, Irmi, 2004. "Niches and economic competition: implications for economic efficiency, growth and diversity," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 119-135, June.
  4. Tisdell, Clem, 1990. "Economics and the debate about preservation of species, crop varieties and genetic diversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 77-90, April.
  5. Clem Tisdell, 2000. "Coevolution, agricultural practices and sustainability: some major social and ecological issues," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(1), pages 6-16.
  6. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
  7. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Are Nonconvexities Important for Understanding Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 97-103, May.
  8. Svizzero, Serge & Tisdell, Clement A., 2001. "Concepts of Competition in Theory and Practice," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90469, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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