Biodiversity buys the farm


It’s not only wild animals in the rainforest that face extinction. A UN agricultural organization reports that the world is losing two domestic animal species, like cattle, sheep, poultry, and horses, every week.

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The source of the problem, according to the PANAFRICAN NEWS AGENCY, is domestic animals imported to developing countries from the developed world. Third World farmers import the animals, hoping they’ll yield more meat, milk, wool, or eggs per animal than the local version. But when the foreign farm animals arrive they interbreed with local animals, or replace them altogether, diluting or wiping out the native species.

And many times the farmer doesn’t even get more eggs out of the bargain. In the different, often harsher environment of the developing world, the imported species may not perform as well as they did back home, and sometimes don’t survive at all.