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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

1. Scope

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
- confinement

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.