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The Contemporary Geography of Indigenous Irish Livestock

Richard Yarwood, Nick Evans, Julie Higginbottom


Livestock farming is an important part of agriculture in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. However, whilst many geographers have studied changes in the numbers of Irish livestock, there has been little consideration given to the contemporary distribution of different breeds of domestic farm animals in Ireland. Recent theoretical debate has encouraged geographers to consider the ways in which animals can reflect cultural differences between and within places. Drawing on these ideas, this paper examines agricultural livestock which are indigenous to Ireland and considers how they reflect changes in the rural economy. It uses secondary data gathered from appropriate herd books to examine temporal and spatial changes in Irish livestock and. in particular, breeds which have been classified as rare. Data from a recent survey of livestock owners are used to explain these differences.

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