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Animal Breeds at Risk Register

A principle of exotic disease control legislation is that certain categories of animals/birds may be considered for sparing from culling, provided that disease control is not compromised.  However, such exemptions for both animals and birds are not guaranteed and will be considered on an individual basis following a veterinary risk assessment of the premises and consideration of wider issues and impacts.

Such categories of potentially exempt animals/birds include those kept:

  • In a zoo or a wildlife park
  • In a pet bird shop
  • For scientific research or breeding for such research, or
  • In a premises approved for the purposes of intra-Community trade in semen, ova or embryos
  • For display or educational purposes
  • For purposes related to conservation of species or genetic resource

Conservation of genetic resource during an exotic disease outbreak

This list of breeds at risk has been determined from the expert advice of the UK Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee.  Further information on some of the definitions used in the criteria and frequently asked questions is on the UK Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee website.

This is not a closed list, and if evidence can be provided to support the criteria, the UK Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee will consider further submissions to include additional breeds on the list.  Equally, a breed can be removed from the list if it no longer fulfils all criteria.

Keepers can register that they have breeds at risk animals (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs in GB) on their premises in advance of a disease outbreak via the link below:


This registration does not guarantee that breeds at risk animals on the premises will be spared but it will help give advance information to Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) officials that can be used during an outbreak.  During an exotic disease outbreak, keepers with premises within control zones or on suspect/infected or contact premises will also have the opportunity to inform the APHA if they have breeds at risk when APHA officials visit their premises.