The 11th International Conference on Goats in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands (Spain) was a big success with over 400 participants from 50 countries. Industrial, scientific and rural activities in the goat sector were discussed by experts and researchers with 18 sessions, 5 roundtables, and 3 satellites seminars. In addition, excellent information was displayed on attractive posters from many countries at the several poster sessions.
A special workshop was organized, to discuss the collaboration between the International Goat Association (IGA) and the International Fund on Agriculture and Development (IFAD), on the role of goats in the fight against poverty and operational aspects of building efficient projects with the participation of actors and specialists from all continents.
Goats and the Canary Islands
The Canary Isles were conquered by Spain in the 13th and 14th centuries, and goats were already present on the isles. Canarian people have been raising goats for several centuries, and today goats are the most important livestock resource in the archipelago (more than 400,000 heads).
There are three native dairy goat breeds in the Canary Islands – all with a common ancestor, the Paleocanaria goat – and almost 100% of their milk is used to make traditional cheese. The wild population disappeared during the last century although there are still signs of the ancient population in their domesticated offspring. Furthermore, recent studies using a linking network analysis of mitochondrial D-loop sequences has shown that Canary Island goats had an important influence in the building of American goat herds.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.