Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Germany: Historic and Endangered Domestic Animal Breeds

On 1st September the German Post issued a souvenir sheet about historic and endangered domestic animal breeds. The featured breeds are the Rhön Sheep and the German Saddleback.

Historic and endangered domestic animal breeds have valuable characteristics, which might be useful in the future. But in the course of the industrialisation the agriculture started to concentrate on breeds which had the best output and so the historic breeds began to disappear. Today a breed with unique genetics becomes extinct every two weeks. In Germany the GEH aims at the conservation of the historic and endangered domestic animal breeds, because they are an irrecoverable treasure.


The Rhön Sheep is one of the oldest breeds in Germany and is mainly found in the Rhön area. Already Napoleon was thrilled by the great quality of the sheep's meat and imported some to France. In 20th century the breed nearly died out, but until today the population recovered, also because it became a touristic symbol of the Rhön area. In 1991 was the Rhön Sheep the GEH's Endangered Breed of the Year.

The German Saddleback is a hybrid of the Anglan Saddleback and the Swabian-Hall Swine, which was bred in the German Democratic Republic beginning in 1948. Actually it is a perfect farm animal, as it has a good meat quality, is used to pasture management and has a high reproductive rate, but today only 260 animals remain in Germany. In 2006 was the German Saddleback the GEH's Endangered Breed of the Year.

When the Team "Erlebnis: Briefmarken" was in my hometown recently, I bought two special covers about the Rhön Sheep and the German Saddleback.


On Friday I got a postcard of a Swabian-Hall Swine, another endangered breed.

The Swabian-Hall Swine is a pig breed from the German State of Baden-Württemberg. It developed in the 19th century, when from China introduced Meishan Pigs were crossbred with local pigs. Until the 1940s the breed was dominant in the Schwäbisch Hall District, but was later replaced by other breeds and nearly became extinct. In 1984 a new breeding was started with only seven purebred sows and one boar. The quality of the breed's meat was often awarded and in 1987 was the Swabian-Hall Swine the GEH's Endangered Breed of the Year.
I bought this card in my hometown.

@Ricarda Grothey www.eye-comm.de

With a related stamp:
Historic and Endangered Domestic Animal Breeds (from set of two) (issued 01-09-2016)
with First Day Special Postmark


Other historic and endangered domestic animal breeds include the Murnau-Werdenfels Cattle, the Schleswig Coldblood, the Pomeranian Duck, the German Karakul Sheep and many others.

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