Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kerala biodiversity body stops export of rare goat breed

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) recently helped the cause of biodiversity by stopping the export of a rare native goat breed to Australia, which may have harmed the species in Kerala, a board member said.

Malabari goats are endemic to parts of Kerala's northern districts and theirs numbers are fast dwindling. Any attempt to transport these goats to Australia without proper checks and balances could have been a huge loss to Kerala, KSSB member secretary K.P. Laladhas,said.

The board had got information a few days back about the proposed export between a state agency and Australia from the National Biodiversity Authority.

"We got in touch with the state agency, Kudumbashree, who told us that this is only a proposal and rules would be abided by if this eventually took place," said Laladhas.

The unique feature of the Malabari goat is that it adapts to very hot and humid conditions. Besides, both males and females have a protuberance hanging from the neck.

The colour of these goats varies from white to black and fully grown males weigh 30 to 35 kg, while females weigh 25 to 30 kg. 

Malabari goats yield less than one kg of milk during peak days and can be milked for four to five months.

"The rules are very clear when it comes to transfer of any bio resources and this can be done only through clear-cut bi-lateral agreements. Moreover there should be clarity when it comes to benefit sharing in the future if this eventually leads to genetic modifications," said Laladhas.

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