The Rare Breed Survival Trust works across the UK to save and safeguard the future of rare and native livestock and equine breeds, and its Watchlist is the annual situation report for these breeds. The outlook for many of the UK’s rare native breeds has remained broadly unchanged, thanks to continuing interest from new breeders, the commitment of dedicated Breed Societies, conservation programmes at the 25 RBST-accredited farm parks, and generous public support for RBST’s work.
However, the Watchlist also shows that there remain a significant number of Priority breeds where the outlook is of particular concern, with ongoing trends of very low populations as well as lack of genetic diversity. These breeds include Eriskay ponies which the Watchlist overview identifies as ”the small but strong working ponies of crofters on the Western Isle of Eriskay.” The Watchlist also says that ”in 2020 only 7 females were registered, a very low number but an important increase from 2 in 2018. Six herds registered progeny in 2020, up from two in 2018.”
The Eriskay Pony Society works closely with the RBST to promote responsible and appropriate breeding and advice, support and information about grants for members can be found elsewhere on this website.
More information on the Watchlist can be found at http://www.rbst.org.uk.