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close this bookAnimal Husbandry - Initial Environmental Assessment Series No. 2 (NORAD, 1994)
close this folderPart I: General account
close this folder3 Possible environmental impacts
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1 Overgrazing and soil erosion
View the document3.2 Pollution of air, soil and water
View the document3.3 Special impacts of livestock-based industries and transportation
View the document3.4 Loss of valuable genes
View the document3.5 Infection pressure and diseases, and impacts of medication
View the document3.6 Other ecological impacts, and consequences for landscapes
View the document3.7 Social impacts
View the document3.8 Impacts of other existing or planned activities

3.3 Special impacts of livestock-based industries and transportation

Different types of livestock-based industries are listed in chapter 1.2. Below is a brief survey of expected environmental impacts. These should be considered prior to the projects. For a more thorough presentation of environmental impacts of industrial projects, see booklet 9 Industry and energy.

· Increased water consumption (both ground water and surface sources), which can affect the supply of water to other users.
· Discharge to air, water and soil.
· Land use conflicts.
· Alterations in social and economic structures in the area.

Surplus of feed can also cause environmental conflicts. This can perhaps be most clearly seen in areas with food industries and other industries that have by-products that are difficult to get rid of except when being used as feed. Such by-products chiefly come from mills, breweries, distilleries, preservation industries, butcheries, fish processing plants, etc. Domestic animals can serve as useful processors of offal and by-products into valuable food products, while at the same time contributing to reducing environmental problems.

Environmental impacts can be considerable in connection with large tanneries. In addition to a great consumption of water, large amounts of waste (skin and hair) can cause pollution. The waste can be utilized as a fertilizer if a mud separator is employed to collect it. Chrome is often used in the tanning process, which may cause considerable pollution problems. From butcheries, byproducts such as blood, entrails, stomach and intestinal contents, bone, etc. can represent serious sources of pollution. If treated in the right way, however, these by-products can yield valuable feed, fertilizers or other products.

Large-scale livestock production requires access to transport (see also booklet 8 Transport). This concerns feed, fertilizers as well as products. Infrastructure such as roads, railway, water installations, electricity and telephone may be necessary in order to make full use of the livestock project. Transportation of live animals has traditionally taken place by herding, partly over long distances. If the flocks are large, such herds can have negative environmental impacts in the form of dust, tracks, etc. In connection with livestock projects, transportation mostly takes place by lorries which results in dust, noise and strains on poor country roads. In the rainy season, it can often be difficult, not to say impossible, to travel outside the main roads. Transportation of live animals requires special care to protect the animals against unnecessary suffering or even death during transport. Livestock products to be stored or transported fresh over long distances in the tropics require refrigeration. Refrigerator and freezing facilities often contain environmentally hazardous CFC gases. There ought to be facilities for tapping such gases when the equipment is disposed of.

Need of transportation can also be an issue in connection with more decentralized projects, especially where livestock production for sale is concerned. The need as well as provision of transport should be taken into consideration already during the planning of the project.