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Kazakhstan to Actively Preserve Native Kazakh Dog Breeds

The world's oldest indigenous dog breeds are still waiting for official recognition

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Petr Trotsenko/RFERL
Petr Trotsenko/RFERL

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed the Department of Presidential Affairs to coordinate work on preserving the indigenous Kazakh dog breeds tazy and tobet, Qazmonitor reports.

Tazy and Tobet are purebred, people-oriented dog breeds originating from Kazakhstan and are valued as cultural heritage whose presence can be traced back to the Copper Age. Both were an intrinsic part of nomadic life: the tazy sighthound was an invaluable hunting partner with its incredible sight and speed, while the bulky body of the tobet shepherd dogs made them perfect for protecting the livestock.

Despite being one of the world’s oldest breeds, neither are recognized as official dog breeds by any kennel clubs, which are major organizations for canine affairs.

Even within Kazakhstan, some types of tobets remain obscure to this day, only known among locals in certain remote areas. This puts vulnerable dog breeds in danger of extinction.

Following the presidential instruction, a working group was created to actively preserve and revive the tazy and tobet.

Experts are tasked to find ways of target financing scientific research of the gene pool of the breeds in all regions of Kazakhstan, consider possible forms of state support and prepare a package of legal norms for preservation and restoration of the tazy and tobet breeds.

The group consists of the following representatives: The Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Institute of Parliamentary Affairs under the President Administration, and "Kansonar" Republican Association.

The Department commented: “An important matter is to register Kazakhstan as the country of origin of these dog breeds in the International Canine Federation (FCI).”

To register the breed, national kennel clubs, such as the Kazakh Union of Cynologists, who are included in the FCI, need to prove that the dogs are a native breed of the country by submitting documents.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will assist in the application process while the Ministry of Culture and Sports will be responsible for facilitating the popularization of the breed through various cultural and sports events.

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