May I suggest Mr Ahern (“‘Redundant’ breeds”, letter, Jan 7) considers a more future-facing perspective. Many of our native livestock breeds, specifically bred to thrive in our landscape, fell out of step with farming priorities following the move to more industrialised farming under the Common Agricultural Policy. But now Britain’s farmers are moving to a more market facing, unsubsidised world. These breeds which depend on fewer expensive artificial inputs, can live outdoors on grass for most of the year and generally incur less veterinary cost, can come into their own.

With a bit of thoughtful marketing highlighting local connections, higher welfare and lower environmental footprint, many farmers find they can charge a premium for their native breed products.

Of untold value to the future of livestock farming, the future of our natural environment and the future of local food chains, supporting the survival of native breeds should be a cornerstone of national agricultural policy.