THE Council of Majorca yesterday signed an agreement to help fund the creation of a pioneering centre to conserve some 20 breeds of Balearic pigs and cows.

The Council of Majorca is going to cooperate with the Balearic government in this groundbreaking venture which is also going to involve the setting up of a special laboratory to help the autochthonous pigs and cows breed.

The new centre is going to be based at the Raixa estate and the Council of Majorca is going to invest 200'000 euros in the project.
The agreement was signed yesterday by the President of the Council of Majorca, Francina Armengol, and Balearic Presidential Secretary, Albert Moragues.

Armengol used the signing to highlight the close level of cooperation there has been between the Council of Majorca and the government on environmental issues and thanked the government for its backing of the Council of Majorca's bid to have the Serra de Tramuntana declared a UNESCO natural heritage site.

She said in the case of Raixa, which is one of the most spectacular country estates on the island, that since the property was reformed and opened to the public in September, 2009, it has been visited by nearly 40'000 people. Armengol said that the estate is the ideal location for the new species protection programme and added that, once it is up and running, the centre will also be open to schools and other educational centres so they can visit the estate and see the Balearic breeds for themselves and the work the laboratory is carrying out to conserve the animals.

The Raixa estate was first declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1993 and in July of last year, the Council of Majorca took over the exclusive management of the estate.