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Research to Quantify Benefits of Pig Production

by 5m Editor
26 August 2008, at 10:00am

UK - Most research into the environmental effects of pigs and other livestock concentrates on the negatives... but that’s about to change thanks to NPA’s own Dr. Zoe Davies.

Before leaving Defra to join NPA, she drew up the specification for a research project that will look at the positive as well as negative impacts of livestock production in the United Kingdom, including its role on mixed farms.

She poses an interesting question: Is there an optimal structure and sectoral split to the livestock industry which would allow the minimisation of pollution gas emissions and other environmental impacts but at the same time meet consumer demand for domestically reared product and make a positive contribution to the rural economy?

And if there does indeed prove to be an optimal structure, she hopes researchers will identify the implications for government policy.

The following points will also be considered in the research:

  • How could livestock contribute to wider Defra objectives in terms of public goods and ecosystem services?
  • What are the current barriers to success in contributing to these objectives?
  • If livestock production in the United Kingdom were reduced — for environmental reasons — would the global impacts be greater/less if production was displaced to other countries?

Defra is now calling for proposals from researchers for this project. All classes of livestock (beef, sheep, dairy, pigs, eggs, poultry) will be included.

5m Editor