Valais Blackneck

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Valais Blackneck
Walliser Schwarzhalsziege qtl1.jpg
Conservation statusFAO (2007): Italy: critical[1]
other countries: not listed
Other names
  • Walliser Schwarzhalsziege
  • Gletschergeiss
  • Col Noir du Valais
  • Chèvre des Glaciers
  • Race de Viège
  • Vallesana
  • Vallese
Country of origin
Distributionmainly in the Valais
Standard
Usemeat, milk, vegetation management
Traits
Weight
  • Male: minimum 75 kg[6]
  • Female: minimum 55 kg[6]
Height
  • Male: 85 cm[6]
  • Female: 75 cm[6]
Skin coloroften pale
Wool colorblack foreparts, white hindparts
Face colorblack
Horn statushorned in both sexes
  • Goat
  • Capra aegagrus hircus
A Valais Blackneck billy
Engraving of a Valais Blackneck from the Journal des Eleveurs, 1905

The Valais Blackneck is a breed of domestic goat from the canton of Valais, in southern Switzerland, and neighbouring areas of northern Italy. The largest concentration is in the area of Visp (Viège). It is present in modest numbers in Austria and Germany. It is known by many names, including German: Walliser Schwarzhalsziege or Gletschergeiss; French: Col Noir du Valais, Chèvre des Glaciers or Race de Viège; and Italian: Vallesana or Vallese.

The Valais Blackneck has a distinctive colouring, black from the nose to behind the shoulder and white from there to the tail. The English Bagot goat, which is similarly coloured, is thought to derive from this breed by descent from one presented to Richard II of England in 1380.[7] Whilst it was commonly held that the Bagot originated from Valais Blacknecks that were acquired in Switzerland by crusaders returning to England, this theory was thoroughly discredited by Werner in 1978 [8].

Within Italy, the Vallesana is raised in the provinces of Verbania and Vercelli.[9] It is one of the forty-three autochthonous Italian goat breeds of limited distribution for which a herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia, the Italian national association of sheep- and goat-breeders.[10][11]

At the end of 2013 the total numbers for the breed were 3000–3400 in Switzerland and either 191[12] or 446[5] in Italy. In 2012 Austria reported 100–300 head[3] and Germany 429.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed June 2014.
  2. ^ Breed data sheet: Walliser Schwarzhalsziege/Switzerland. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed June 2014.
  3. ^ a b Breed data sheet: Walliser Schwarzhalsziege/Austria. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed June 2014.
  4. ^ a b Breed data sheet: Walliser Schwarzhalsziege/Germany. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed June 2014.
  5. ^ a b Breed data sheet: Vallesana/Italy. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed June 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Walliser Schwarzhaslziege (in German). Oberwalliser Ziegenzuchtverband. Accessed June 2014.
  7. ^ Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon (2008). Atlante delle razze autoctone: Bovini, equini, ovicaprini, suini allevati in Italia (in Italian). Milan: Edagricole. ISBN 9788850652594. p. 420–21.
  8. ^ Werner, R., 1978. The Origin of the Bagot Goat. Researched for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
  9. ^ Norme tecniche della popolazione caprina "Capra Vallesana": standard della razza (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia. Accessed June 2014.
  10. ^ Strutture Zootecniche (Dec. 2009/712/CE - Allegato 2 - Capitolo 2) (in Italian). Ministero delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali. Section I (e). Archived 4 December 2013.
  11. ^ Le razze ovine e caprine in Italia (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia: Ufficio centrale libri genealogici e registri anagrafici razze ovine e caprine. p. 113. Accessed May 2014.
  12. ^ Consistenze Provinciali della Razza 92 Vallesana Anno 2013 (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia: Banca dati. Accessed June 2014.