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close this bookEnvironmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)
close this folderAgriculture
close this folder30. Livestock farming
View the document1. Scope
View the document2. Environmental impacts and protective measures
View the document3. Notes on the analysis and evaluation of environmental impacts
View the document4. Interaction with other sectors
View the document5. Summary assessment of environmental relevance
View the document6. References

3. Notes on the analysis and evaluation of environmental impacts

There are no generally applicable guidelines for analysing the environmental impacts of livestock farming. Useful background information concerning the impacts of large farm enterprises on water and the environment prevailing in the livestock housing can be obtained from German guidelines (e.g. DIN standard 18910, VDI specifications, planning documentation for livestock housing). Australian studies (e.g. Harrington et al. 1984, Squires 1981) can yield valuable pointers concerning ranches and pasture use in general. Collection of data to ascertain the impacts of livestock farming must be conducted on a long-term basis and can involve a variety of methods such as soil and plant monitoring, investigation of herd composition and livestock productivity, interpretation of aerial photographs (series) and possibly also interpretation of satellite images. An ecosystem analysis provides a sound basis for determining the carrying capacity of the ecosystem in question.

The ecological, economic and technical rationale of pastoral and smallholder livestock farming has sometimes been the subject of heated debate in recent years (Sandford 1983, Galaty et al. 1979; see also articles published within networks such as Nomadic Peoples and ODI Pastoral Development Network or by CRSP). The current state of knowledge does not permit any form of definitive assessment; the information sources cited above should instead be seen as offering pointers.