European Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources

Regional platform for the support of management, conservation and sustainable use of animal genetic resources

Ex situ Conservation

Ex situ conservation (cryo-conservation)

The ERPF Working Group Ex situ conservation will address the following tasks:

In addition to the long-term storage of semen, which is a relatively simple and cheap operation for preserving genetic variation, embryos and tissue are also valuable for the storage of entire genotypes, in particular for local breeds at a critical stage of endangerment. There are differences between countries on how cryo-conservation schemes are organised, especially on how breeding associations and AI centres are involved. Furthermore, there is European and national (sanitary) legislation governing the collection and cryo-conservation of genetic material. In some species, major technological limitations exist, while in others, major advances have been made. The review of available technology and urgent needs of legislation could be done in collaboration across countries.
The ERFP should promote the importance of ex situ conservation measures for AnGR throughout the European countries. National activities could be supported by the ERFP through capacity development.
Furthermore the ERFP Working Group Ex situ Conservation has an important role for the European Genebank Network for AnGR (EUGENA).