Variations in climatic variables (temperature, humidity and solar radiation) negatively impact livestock growth, reproduction, and production. Heat stress, for instance, is a source of huge financial loss to livestock production globally. There have been significant advances in physical modifications of animal environment and nutritional interventions as tools of heat stress mitigation. Unfortunately, these are short-term solutions and may be unsustainable, costly, and not applicable to all production systems. Accordingly, there is a need for innovative, practical, and sustainable approaches to overcome the challenges posed by global warming and climate change-induced heat stress. This review highlights attempts to genetically select and breed ruminants for thermotolerance and thereby sustain production in the face of changing climates. One effective way is to incorporate sustainable heat abatement strategies in ruminant production. Improved knowledge of the physiology of ruminant acclimation to harsh environments, the opportunities and tools available for selecting and breeding thermotolerant ruminants, and the matching of animals to appropriate environments should help to minimise the effect of heat stress on sustainable animal genetic resource growth, production, and reproduction to ensure protein food security.