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Lonjsko Polje – the only Example of the Former Cores/Nuclei of Central European Animal Husbandry

“Ah, this freedom”, if they could talk, the horses, cows and pigs that stay at liberty on the pastures and in the forests of Lonjsko Polje would say.   During floods and snowy winters, the rural folk keep their livestock in warm, dry byres, where they are fed and cared for.  With the coming of spring and the retreat of the floods, the people let their animals out onto the plain to graze.  We call this manner of keeping and raising livestock traditional pasturing. Lonjsko Polje is the only region in Europe where this manner of raising livestock has been retained.  Traditional pasturing is an archaic system where several species of animal are kept together.  For the use of moist habitats, this is the most economical method.   There is a certain logical sequence to the nutrition.  The pigs prepare the pasture by rooting up the soil, which helps high quality grass to grow for the big animals that come afterwards. This kind of system is essential for the maintenance of the livestock and the protection of biological diversity.