Instant Insights: Environmental impact of livestock production

Instant Insights: Environmental impact of livestock production

Dr Taro Takahashi, Dr Graham A. McAuliffe, Prof. Michael R. F. Lee, Dr Julie Wolf, Prof. G. J. Thoma


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This collection features five peer-reviewed literature reviews on the environmental impact of livestock production.

The first chapter discusses life cycle assessment (LCA) and its role in evaluating the environmental footprint of farming systems. The chapter also explores how the practical trade-off between feasibility and scientific rigour should be addressed in the field of ruminant production systems.

The second chapter explores some of the many facets of livestock’s contributions to climate change and the difficulties involved in quantifying them, with a closer look into the contribution of livestock methane emissions to changing atmospheric methane concentrations over the last few decades.

The third chapter presents a review of the environmental sustainability impacts of swine production, focused at the farm level because the majority of environmental impacts occur by this stage of the supply chain.

The fourth chapter considers the potential strategies that can be implemented to improve the environmental performance of intensive poultry systems.

The final chapter examines how LCA can be used as a tool to quantify multiple resource use and environmental impacts. The chapter details how potentially harmful emissions can be assessed and measured at each stage in the life cycle of sheep products.


Dr Taro Takahashi: