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Conservation Lists

Heritage Livestock Canada researches, updates and manages our list of breeds and species at risk. Our concise conservation list can be downloaded in pdf format here.

To meet our breeds and see for yourself why supporting diversity in livestock is so important to our food security and biodiversity, choose a category below and start exploring the many faces of Canadian agriculture.

Conservation List Criteria

Canadian Heritage Breed is listed if:

A.1. The breed is Canadian in origin.
(A breed is a true genetic breed if, when mated together, it reproduces the breed type.)
2. The breed has existed continuously in Canada for 50 years.
3. The breed has been registered in Canada for at least six generations.
(A generation is as follows: cattle 6 years, sheep 4 years, goats 5 years, horses 10 years, pigs 2 years, and poultry 1 year.
4. The parental breeds used to form this breed are no longer available.

B. Registration information
A breed is listed if there are:
1. Fewer than the following annual registrations of pure female stock: 750 cattle, 500 horses, 1165 swine, 1000 sheep, 1165 goats.
2. Four or fewer distinct male lines.
(A distinct male line is one that has no ancestors in common for the past four generations including great-grand-

C. Other criteria
The following criteria help to establish the category for each breed or even to list a breed that does not otherwise qualify.
1. Registrations or populations have decreased significantly in Canada in the last 5 years.
2. The breed is listed by other rare breed organizations (i.e., it is internationally rare).
3. The breed currently exists in four or fewer significant breeding units that are more than 1000 kilometres apart in Canada.
4. The breed is not supported by an active breed association in Canada