P.R.E. Genetic Bank
COLLABORATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND ANCCE REGARDING THE STORAGE AND CUSTODY OF PRE GENETIC MATERIAL
Semen, embryos and oocytes will be safeguarded in the national animal gene bank, to operate as a reserve for reproductive material in the light of possible losses of genetic diversity within the breed.
Yesterday afternoon, the General Director for Farm Production and Markets, Mr. Fernando Miranda and Mr. Juan Tirado, president of ANCCE, signed an agreement to store and safeguard genetic material from Purebred Spanish Horses. This material includes semen, embryos and oocytes in the CENSYRA (the Center for Animal Breeding and Reproduction) Animal Gene Bank at IMIDRA, the Madrid Institute for Rural, Farming and Food Research and Development. The Institute is connected with the Regional Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Organization for the Community of Madrid.
Thanks to the bank regulated by the agreement, a “reserve copy of reproductive material” will be collected by ANCCE and safeguarded in other gene banks. Having dual resources guarantees that the breed could be fully recuperated in the hypothetical case that the original gene bank should disappear.
In this regard, Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture responds to recent recommendations by international bodies, such as the FAO. The idea is to reinforce the maintenance of animal genetic resources, with ex-situ preservation. This reinforces the commitments acquired by Spain within the framework of the Biological Diversity Agreement and the Interlaken Declaration.
ANIMAL GENE BANK
The Animal Gene Bank, by depositing and safeguarding genetic material, seeks to create a permanent and closed collection of reproductive material from all of Spain’s national breeds. This, in turn, would work as a safety element should genetic variability be lost or even in cases of extinction.
Thus, it operates as a strategic element within the National Program for the Preservation, Improvement and Promotion of Farm Breeds. Likewise, it works to safeguard Spain’s extensive farm animal wealth as it is one of the main animal gene pools in Europe and the world.
Regarding the list of native breeds in Spain, the Purebred Spanish Horse is undoubtedly one of the most international, as it has expanded the world over. Last year, the PRE census was 178,657 horses, with PRE horses being found in all of Spain’s regions.