Registration of Farm Animal Germplasm
The advent of new era of national sovereignty over genetic resources under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires a new approach to describe and catalogue livestock and poultry breeds. The intent of the Nagoya Protocol for ensuring fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from the utilization of genetic resources, the global scenario of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Intellectual Property Rights warrant protecting the local animal genetic diversity and provide recognition to the livestock keepers. This in turn demands an authentic national documentation system of valuable sovereign genetic resources. Documentation and inventorization of these high valued indigenous breeds and other undefined populations at national level serve to a much eminent cause of their sustainable use, improvement and preservation for today as well as future generations.
Recognizing the need for an authentic national documentation system of valuable sovereign animal genetic resource, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), in the year 2007, initiated a mechanism for “Registration of Animal Germplasm” by giving temporary authority to ICAR- National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBAGR), Karnal. Subsequently in 2008, ICAR constituted a Breed Registration Committee (BRC) under the chairmanship of Deputy Director General (Animal Science), ICAR and having members from National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and Dept. of Animal Husbandry Dairying & Fisheries, Govt. of India for registration of new breeds. This mechanism is the sole recognised process for registration of livestock and poultry breeds at national level.
The registration of Indian livestock and poultry germplasm shall revolve around the concept of a breed. It is difficult to exactly define a breed; however, FAO has defined the breed which is widely accepted, read as follows:
The breeds are either:
(a) a sub-specific group of domestic livestock with definable and identifiable external characteristics that enable it to be separated by visual appraisal from other similarly-defined groups within same species; or
(b) a group for which geographical and/or cultural separation from phenotypically similar groups has led to acceptance of its separate identity.
An alpha numeric code has been designed for all the breeds in the following format:
INDIA_SPECIES NAME_ABCD_BREED NAME_XYEFG
AB = Two Digit Numeric Code for State One (Major Tract)
CD = Two Digit Numeric Code for State Two
XY = Two Digit Numeric Code for Species
EFG = Three Digit Numeric Code for the Breed