|Environmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)|
|30. Livestock farming|
Livestock farming is interlinked above all with plant production and forestry and constitutes an element of general resource management. One link with plant production lies in the "transformation" of feedstuffs such as green forage, crop residues and cereals. Production and spreading of dung has beneficial effects on plant production, while the role played by livestock farming as a form of "savings bank" and as a means of accumulating capital can also permit investments in crop growing. The land requirements of pasture use are most likely to conflict with those of crop growing where the latter involves cash crops such as cotton and other crops cultivated in large-scale monoculture systems. Livestock farming also has a certain bearing on rural water supplies.
As natural pasture is often the major source of fodder for ruminants, the interests of livestock farming and pasture use must be taken into account in regional planning. Failure to understand livestock husbandry systems and the way in which they function can give rise to serious conflicts.
Food production and the related hygiene risks have an influence on the population's nutrition and health. Direct competition regarding product use can arise if cereals and other products that could be competition by humans without further processing are fed to livestock. Indirect competition occurs wherever feedstuffs (e.g. soya beans) are grown on a large scale for export, since this is to the disadvantage of smallholders engaged in livestock husbandry.
Livestock farming supplies raw materials for further processing by dairies, slaughterhouses, tanneries and spinning mills and is thus a source of raw materials for agro-industry.
Where draught animals are kept, livestock farming supplies "products" required in agricultural engineering; large farms are customers in this sector by virtue of their need to purchase items such as equipment for installation in livestock housing. Veterinary medicine essentially performs a service function for livestock farming. Fishery yields fish meal and thus also supplies feedstuffs for other forms of intensive livestock farming, while aquaculture can utilise wastes and by-products from livestock farming.
In the processing sector, environmental impacts depend on the nature and size of the enterprises concerned. With regard to slaughterhouses, see the environmental briefs Veterinary Services, Slaughterhouses and Agro-industry.