Photo: / Collierwilson CC BY-NC-ND

EU livestock numbers are too high

“What is the Safe Operating Space for EU livestock?” is the question at issue and the title of a new report from the Rise Foundation. Their preliminary analysis shows that the numbers of farm animals in Europe would have to decrease by 40–60 per cent to limit the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient leakage.

To achieve this, they conclude that strong action is required both on consumption and in production. There is however considerable scope for innovation to reduce negative impacts by improving resource efficiency, breeding, housing, nutrition, manure management and changing the density and concentration of production. The report stresses that production measures alone cannot offer sufficient rates of efficiency improvement to achieve existing standards for greenhouse gases and other pollutants.


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