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Instant Insights: Environmental impact of livestock production

This book reviews the environmental impacts of livestock production, covering life cycle assessment, livestock’s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions including methane, the impacts of pig and sheep production, and strategies for improving the environmental performance of intensive poultry production.

Publisher’s summary

This collection features five peer-reviewed literature reviews on the environmental impact of livestock production.

The first chapter discusses life cycle assessment (LCA) and its role in evaluating the environmental footprint of farming systems. The chapter also explores how the practical trade-off between feasibility and scientific rigour should be addressed in the field of ruminant production systems.

The second chapter explores some of the many facets of livestock’s contributions to climate change and the difficulties involved in quantifying them, with a closer look into the contribution of livestock methane emissions to changing atmospheric methane concentrations over the last few decades.

The third chapter presents a review of the environmental sustainability impacts of swine production, focused at the farm level because the majority of environmental impacts occur by this stage of the supply chain.

The fourth chapter considers the potential strategies that can be implemented to improve the environmental performance of intensive poultry systems.

The final chapter examines how LCA can be used as a tool to quantify multiple resource use and environmental impacts. The chapter details how potentially harmful emissions can be assessed and measured at each stage in the life cycle of sheep products.



Takahashi, T. (2021). Instant Insights: Environmental impact of livestock production. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Sawston.


Read more here. See also the Table explainer Methane and the sustainability of ruminant livestock.

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18 Feb 2021
Instant Insights book cover
Document type
Fodder Category