|Environmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)|
|30. Livestock farming|
As a biological process, livestock farming influences, and is influenced by, the environment. With respect to the environment the aim is to change it in such a way that a maximum of food and raw materials can be obtained on a sustainable basis.
Environmental impacts vary depending on the form of livestock husbandry and type of farm involved. There are three basic forms of livestock husbandry:
- pasture usage
- pasture use with supplementary feeding
Farming systems can be divided into the following types:
- ranches (cattle, sheep)
- traditional pastoralism (cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, equids, often mixed herds)
- smallholder livestock husbandry (cattle, buffalo, camelids, equids, sheep, goats, poultry, pigs, small animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits and bees; a farm often keeps a variety of different animal species)
- large enterprises of industrial-scale livestock production (e.g. poultry fattening, laying batteries, pig fattening, feedlots for cattle)
Fisheries and aquaculture are covered in a separate environmental brief.
Livestock farming is possible wherever arable farming is practised. It is also the only form of agriculture in semi-arid and arid regions as well as in high mountain regions in the zone beyond the arable farming limit up to the vegetation limit.