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Modern Animal Biotechnology: Benefits, Future Directions, and Policy Recommendations

The domestication of important livestock animals is said to have occurred in sedentary communities which were engaged in early agriculture (Cucchi and Arbuckle 2021). As early as 10,500 to 10,000 BC, sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle were domesticated (Colledge et al. 2013). The earliest type of animal biotechnology for the improvement of strains involved breeding, especially in livestock and fish. The English farmer, Robert Bakewell (1725–1795), was the first to apply sheep and cattle breeding successfully for the improvement of the wool and meat quality, by methodical selection and inbreeding, respectively (Wood 1973). Since then, various breeding activities have been done, for example, in dairy cattle for the improvement of their milk production, protein composition, fertility, longevity, and mastitis resistance.

In the Philippines, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) leads in the improvement of the genetic potential of water buffalo for milk and meat production, to meet the needs of the growing Filipino population. This is done through the introduction of the riverine buffalo germplasm into pre-identified populations of swamp buffaloes (PCC n.d.)


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