Genetic endangerment and sustainability of French draft horses
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This work presents the nine breeds of draft horses that find their origin in France. Most of them have evolved from indigenous horses found in the different regions of France and are often well adapted to the particular climate and geography of the given regions. Just like in all developed countries, horses are not used as much as they once were before the apparition of cars and tractors. Therefore the horse population is greatly reduced when compared to times before the industrial revolution. This is especially true for the draft horse. We look into the evolution of breeds throughout History and how the draft horse adapted to the needs of the people. The evolution of draft horses closely follows the evolution of man made technologies. This explains why there aren’t as many draft horses nowadays as in the past. However draft horses are a sympathetic image for the public, who is reluctant to see them disappear completely. There still are passionate breeders and associations that wish to preserve those breeds the best they can. It has to be noted though, that preservation of all these breeds is very costly since no breeder can live solely from the breeding of horses, therefore it is worth wondering if it is wise to make such high preservation efforts on all of the nine breeds or if we should rather focus on some breeds and let others fade out. There are indeed some breeds that are genetically very close to each other, and on the contrary some breeds that have a quite unique genetic background.