© Martin Schneider-Jacoby

ELBARN - conservation and rescue of rare breeds


The objective of this action is to establish a European Livestock Breeds Ark and Rescue Net concerned with the conservation and rescue of rare breeds. The proposed action is a concerted action to motivate, document and network towards rescue, in-situ conservation and use of under-utilised agricultural genetic resources in Europe. The documentation of existing infrastructure, along with the resulting network, will be inventoried as an online, publicly accessible database. The wider objectives of EuroNatur´s agricultural policy are to achieve a diversity in farming and landscape, which promotes sustainable agriculture and provides income and opportunity in rural communities. Together with the experience of the Partner organisations (SAVE, SLE, RARE and GEH) and funded by the European Union the objective of a functioning network to complement existing agri-conservation and rural development work can be realised. The purchase of property or animals is not an objective of this action.


  • A network: bringing together and documenting that which already exists.
  • A catalyst: lobbying, encouraging and providing structure to successfully achieve conservation and use of endangered livestock breeds.

To create a European Livestock Breeds Ark and Rescue Net, active networking is needed. This will be achieved through making use of existing networks from the Project Partners and in consultation with ERFP for: a Central Workshop, Transnational Work Groups to identify types of Ark and Rescue Centres, decide marketing and breeding strategies. A key issue is the use of A&R Centres for rescue and quarantine. It is essential for the survival of rare breeds to be able to move animal groups into safety should their conservation be endangered. There will be a questionnaire to establish facts and needs. An online Database will document current conservation and allow easy characterisation for the public. A system of Ark and Rescue Centres will be designed to address urgent displacement issues, offer quarantine (according to EU/national regulations) to protect endangered breeds from epidemics and keep core collections for breeding purposes.  

Grey steppe cow in Hungary
Grey steppe cow in Hungary

Marketing and publicity are essential in the long-term and will be given an important place. Promotion of Ark and Rescue Centres as "show farms", labels to sell products of Ark and Rescue Centres, promotion of sustainable tourism and of traditional landscape management. The project will end with a final report, to show progress and incomplete work. This final report will be used to publicise the online database, to motivate and to encourage national governments, institutions and individuals to be involved in ELBARN and to carry on the work that has been started through this action. The Transnational cooperation between the Partners and the Workshop Participants is central in the transfer of knowledge and method and, thus, the success of the action.

ELBARN-Website: www.elbarn.net



EuroNatur-partners in ELBARN:



SAVE Foundation e.V. (SAVE) - Germany





Steunpunt Levend Erfgoed vzw (SLE) - Belgium





Associazione Razze Autoctone a Rischio di Estinzione (RARE) - Italy





European Commission: cofinancing