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Dr. Ferry Leenstra
Wageningen UR Livestock Research
Postbus 65
8200 AB Lelystad
The Netherlands
Tel. + 31 320 238517
Fax + 31 320 238050


First LowInputBreeds Symposium: March 15 and 16, 2011 in Wageningen

On March 15 and 16, 2011, the first LowInputBreeds Symposium will take place at Hof van Wageningen, the international conference site of Wageningen University, The Netherlands.


Currently a committee with representatives from all five LowInputBreeds work packages is working on the program.

The main goal of the symposium is to identify and discuss areas of ethical concern in relation to breeding and selection in general and progress in the LowInputBreeds project in particular. In the final project year, 2014, there will be a "wrap-up" session focussing on ethical issues.

There will be presentations by researchers from within the project and by stakeholders from outside the project. Presenters will be provided with a focus outline for their presentations.

Central questions regarding breeding goals to be discussed at the sympsium are:

  • Maintaining local breeds fitting in a concept, such as Label Rouge, Participatory Consumer-Producer systems, etc.
  • Improving "conventional" efficiency/ economics /cost price. In some countries this is important for organic and other concepts as they operate on a competitive and international market. 

 General issues might be:

  • What is considered necessary with regard to breed development and methods used?
  • What can breeding contribute, what is possible to achieve through breeding for low input systems?
  • Another issue is, if we know how important breeding is in comparison to other solutions. Should the LowInputbreeds project follow a holistic type approach and not only focus on genetics?

More specific issues are: 

  • Effects on biodiversity
  • Discarding male animals (laying hens, dairy cattle)
  • Genomic selection
  • Economic compromises

Presentations and discussions will be in plenary meetings and in parallel sessions for ruminants on the one hand and pigs and poultry on the other.

During the symposium, time for meetings for the work package subgroups and a general assembly for the LowInputBreeds project will be scheduled.

Further information will be provided in Autumn. If you have suggestions, please send your ideas to

More information