The Importance of Breeding

In former times

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Sheep-breeding was in full swing in the middle of the 19th century (around the year 1870) in Europe. The manufacture of wool was at its height. In the following period, sheep-breeding started to diminish rapidly, mainly due to trade rivalry from South America and Australia, the growing popularity of cotton and later on because of the breakthrough of synthetic materials.

Like elsewhere in Europe, there was a sharp drop in the number of sheep in Slovenia during the last 150 years; in 1869, there were about 300.000 sheep, while in the year 1980 the number diminished to about 20.000.

Today

Lately, the number of sheep steadily grows, and breeders are becoming better organized.  In view of the fact that a great many pasture-grounds in Slovenia especially in the highlands have overgrown and that the process of overgrowing should be stopped, usage and exploitation measures have been implemented.

Sheep-breeding, especially the breeding of our autochthonous sort, which is optimally adapted to our environment is certainly the most advantageous way of the usage and the preservation of these areas.

The Preservation of Genetic Variety

Stock-farming rapidly developed a reduction in the variety of species for all kinds of domestic animals, including sheep.

These precious genes as well their genetic variety can only be preserved by the preservation of  autochthonic sorts. The Jezersko – Solčava sheepbreed is part of the genetic bank and within the National environmental preservation program.

The Preservation of Cultural Heritage and the Inhabitation of Mountainous Areas

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Autochthonic sorts represent a component part of the Slovene culture; in addition, our sheep significantly contributes to the preservation of mountainous and Alpine pastures, thus preserving our cultural landscape.

Cultivated and well-shaped landscape make room for other activities, which are important for the preservation of the inhabitation of these regions, which has been in large part imperiled.

The Jezersko – Solčava Sheepbreeders’ Association was founded in 1998 to help preserve and popularize the breeding of autochthonous sheep in places of it’s origin.