The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
is a nonprofit organization
focused on preserving and promoting rare breeds
. Founded in 1977 through the efforts of livestock breed enthusiasts concerned about the disappearance of many of the US's heritage livestock breeds, the ALBC was the pioneer livestock preservation organization in the United States, and remains a leading organization in that field. It has initiated programs that have saved multiple breeds from extinction, and works closely with similar organizations in other countries, including Rare Breeds Canada
. The ALBC maintains a conservation priority list that divides endangered breeds of horses, asses, sheep, goats, cattle, rabbits, pigs and poultry into five categories based on population numbers and historical interest. The organization has published several books, and works with breed registries
and other groups on several aspects of breed preservation, including genetic testing, historical documentation, animal rescue and marketing. Preservation of genetic material is of special interest to the ALBC, and for a period of time it maintained a gene bank
that was later transferred to the United States Department of Agriculture
. It has also developed and published several heritage definitions, including parameters for heritage breeds of cattle and poultry.