The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity dedicated to the conservation of the UK’s native breeds of farm livestock, some of which are very rare. These breeds are important because they represent a living part of this country’s agricultural heritage and provide vital genetic diversity within the UK’s farm livestock. Native breeds play an important role in conservation grazing projects due to their natural adaptation to the local environment, which supports biodiversity. The meat, milk and eggs from native breeds give consumers a real choice in the food we eat.
RBST maintains a national gene bank to help safeguard the future of these rare breeds. It analyses rare breed pedigrees to develop breeding conservation programmes; provides conservation grants to breed societies; provides support to livestock keepers promoting the importance of native breeds in livestock systems and monitors breed populations and trends to identify our breeds most at risk.