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Revista de Ciências Agrárias

Print version ISSN 0871-018X


DIAS-DA-SILVA, Arnaldo A.. Animal production and environment: The role of maintenance requirements of farm animals. Rev. de Ciências Agrárias [online]. 2013, vol.36, n.4, pp.393-398. ISSN 0871-018X.

The author points out the importance that the issue of environmental sustainability currently assumes. FAO estimates a world population of 9.5 billion people by 2050. Feeding this population implies much greater quantity of food of animal origin obtained in truly efficient way. The way followed by USA in milk production, highlights the problem. In simple terms this means that maintenance requirements represent a less proportion of the total requirements as production per cow increases. The amount of feed required for each pound of milk produced is reduced although excretion per animal has increased. As a consequence fewer animals are required to satisfy the demand which means the environmental impact is reduced since fewer animals are required to satisfy such demand and more land is available for non-agricultural purposes. Particularly in EU area, governs should devote more funds to efficient and safe animal production.

Keywords : animal production; efficiency; environment.

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