His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has been introduced to the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association during the launch of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s ‘Watchlist’ during this, their 40th year.
The RBST is the leading charity working to conserve and protect our rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. Its watchlist is a list updated annually of the critical, endangered, vulnerable, at risk and minority breeds of livestock in the UK. Since the Trusts establishment in 1973 none of the UK’s native breeds has become extinct, whereas during the 50 years previous, 26 breeds were permanently lost.
The PFLA is looking to build links with the RBST and the Grazing Animals Project which it manages, as the PFLA can offer a marketing opportunity for its producers on grass-based systems - for which so many rare breeds are suited having existed prior to the grain boom when animals lived entirely off natural forage.
The PFLA will feature in the next issue of the RBST’s magazine ‘The Ark’ and it is hoped the two organisations can continue to work together.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is patron to the Trust, spoke at the event and advocated the maintenance of key breeds within the livestock industry to ensure a diverse and resilient gene pool as we look to adapt to changing climates. He made particular reference to the ability of native breeds being able to efficiently convert grass and forage into produce in Britain.
Russ Carrington, executive secretary of the PFLA had a follow up conversation with Prince Charles afterwards and informed him of the PFLA’s work. The Prince has a number of cattle grazing on extensive systems on his farm in Gloucestershire, so perhaps we will see some of his stock being sold as pasture-fed in the near future?!