Showing results for: Animal issues
Since the agricultural revolution which began around 12,500 years ago, humans have domesticated animals to serve their needs, and hunted others from the wild. For the food system animals have been essential as a source of food, labour, and organic fertilizer while ownership of animals may also have cultural, economic or symbolic import. Industrial farming techniques have allowed for large scale production of animal products, which has raised new ethical concerns about their welfare and more fundamentally about the morality of using animals for human purposes. The resource-intense nature of livestock production has attracted attention from researchers, civil society and policymakers alike. Finally, zoonotic diseases, those which can be spread between animals and humans, are a common source of human infection.
In this policy briefing, Global Justice Now reports on the alleged “hidden emissions” of three major agribusinesses, the aim being to highlight the real contribution that multinational feed, fertiliser and beef agribusinesses make to climate change.
A new form of antibiotic resistance was recently identified and the results of the ongoing research project have been published in The Lancet Infectious Disease. The Lancet published the paper as part of their series on antimicrobial access and resistance to coincide with the WHO’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week for Nov 16–22, 2015.
On October 28 2015 the European Parliament voted for binding targets on emissions of air pollutants with specific targets set for 2020, 2025 and 2030. The bill originally included ammonia and methane (CH4) among other air pollutants – but the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted to exempt enteric methane emissions (emissions directly from farmed animals) from the bill. Setting targets for enteric methane was instead postponed to 2030, to give the agriculture sector time to adapt.
We all know that the food system today is undermining the environment upon which future food production depends. But while we generally agree that we need do something to make food systems more sustainable, we do not necessarily agree about what, exactly, should be done. This paper explores these questions by considering how stakeholders think about efficiency in relation to animal production and consumption, both terrestrial and aquatic. It takes as its starting point three broadly discernible views.
Livestock production worldwide is increasing rapidly, in part due to economic growth and demand for meat in industrializing countries. Yet there are many concerns about the sustainability of increased meat production and consumption, from perspectives including human health, animal welfare, climate change and environmental pollution.
This paper provides a useful overview of the effects that measures to reduce GHGs from the livestock sector can have upon the welfare of farmed animals. It argues that most approaches geared at seek to increasing the intensity of production via changes in breeding, feeding and housing may increase productivity per unit of GHG s emitted but they come at the expense of animal health and wellbeing.
This new FCRN think piece focuses on the future of livestock production - or rather on a range of different livestock futures.
This research suggests that attitudes towards the use of insects in animal feed and resulting livestock products are generally positive. The paper finds that of those interviewed (farmers, agriculture sector stakeholders and citizens in Belgium), two thirds accept the idea of using insects in animal feed, and in particularly feel positively towards their potential role in improving the sustainability of animal diets.
The Sustainable Food Trust recently held an event to discuss the question: ‘What role for grazing livestock in a world of climate change and diet-related disease?’
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) reports that the Australian beef industry has reduced its environmental footprint over the past 30 years. The results are presented in a new paper in Agricultural Systems, and in a press-release MLA writes that:
This article from Global Meat News describes projections for beef, pork, poultry and sheep and lamb based on the latest European Commission Short Term Outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets in 2015 and 2016. Beef production is said to increase by 2% this year due to the expansion of the EU dairy and sucklercow herd.
This paper estimates that global use of antimicrobial drugs in animal farming is anticipated to rise by 67% by 2030, due to increasing demand for animal products and a shift towards more large scale intensive systems of production. It argues that a range of measures need to be taken in order to address the negative impacts of this growth.
A question that emerged from FCRN's previous discussions with various experts on animal farming was whether breeding for productivity and animal welfare can be aligned.
Global Forest Coalition and Brighter Green have just released a new report, “Meat from a Landscape Under Threat: Testimonies of the Impacts of Unsustainable Livestock and Soybean Production in Paraguay.”
Late December last year Tara Garnett, researcher on food systems and climate change and coordinator of the FCRN, initiated a meeting that brought together Marian Dawkins, Prof in Animal Behaviour at Oxford University, Jude Capper, researcher and livestock sustainability consultant who has worked mainly in the US, and Elin Röös, Swedish LCA researcher and the initiator of the Swedish Meat Guide, for an informal discussion on the subject of sustainable intensification of agriculture and what that entails for the animal welfare of farm animals.
BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has released a report on sustainable intensification (SI) together with an invitation for interested parties to comment. Responses received will be taken into account in addressing the group’s recommendations.