The third annual Irish Rare Breeds Conference will take place from Thursday, May 16 to Saturday, May 18, 2019 in the GN Mulranny Park Hotel, Mulranny, Co. Mayo.

The conference is being organised by The Old Irish Goat Society, in association with the Irish Rare Breeds’ Society.

According to the organisers of the conference, Ireland’s rare breeds are “a fundamental part of the farming and food production sector, they are living heritage and an important facet of our biodiversity”.

Rare Breeds have an important role in sustaining rural communities, through food production, artisan foods, tourism and conservation grazing.

The organisers also noted that gene variation offers enhanced resistance and adaptation traits in a time of farming intensification and climate and social change.

A number of Irish Breeds have slipped into extinction in recent decades, essentially unnoticed and undocumented, such as the Cladoir Sheep and the Tory Cow.

The event  aims to promote the conservation and utilisation of Ireland’s remaining rare breeds and to address challenges such as lack of protection, resources and recognition.

At the event, a “strategically important” national discussion will take place on indigenous Irish breeds and how their role as a cultural, food security and climate resilience resource could be developed.

To view the full programme for the event, click here.