Livestock sustainability through diversity
A vast study by Mario Herrero and colleagues at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), shows that animals in many parts of the developing world require far more food to produce a kilo of protein than animals in wealthy countries. It also shows that pork and poultry are being produced far more efficiently than milk and beef, and greenhouse gas emissions vary widely depending on the animal involved and the quality of its diet. The research is a comprehensive assessment assembled of what cows, sheep, pigs, poultry and other farm animals are eating in different parts of the world; how efficiently they convert that feed into milk, eggs and meat; and the amount of greenhouse gases they produce. The paper offers the most detailed portrait to date of ‘livestock ecosystems’ in different parts of the world and should provide a new foundation for addressing the sustainable development of livestock.
(PNAS via PAEPARD, 16/12/2013)
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